What is Sodium Na ?
Sodium is a chemical element in the Periodic Table with the atomic number of 11 and the chemical symbol of Na. Sodium is located in the first column in the Periodic Table and it belongs to group 1 elements, which is also known as Alkali Metals. Sodium is preceded by Neon (Ne) and succeeded by Magnesium (Mg).
Physical Characteristics of Sodium
Like all Alkali Metal elements Sodium appears as a silvery-white solid metal with a soft, brittle façade, which can be easily cut with a knife. It can appear in greyish-white hues when oxidized. It is extremely low in density and it has an oxidation state of +1 in a strongly basic oxide. It has an empirical atomic radius. When it’s brought to a gaseous state, Sodium appears as a green-colored gas, which changes its color to purple when subjected to higher temperatures. This chemical element has only one electron in its outer shell, and it has only one stable isotope.
Chemical Properties of Sodium
|RELATIVE ATOMIC MASS||22.989 (22.9898 g/mol)|
|DENSITY ( G CM-3)||0.968 g/cm3 at room temperature, 0.927 g/cm3 in liquid state|
|MELTING POINT||370.944 K; 97.794 °C; 208.029 °F|
|BOILING POINT||1156.090 K; 882.940 °C; 1621.292 °F|
|ELECTRONIC SHELL||2, 8, 1|
Discovery of Sodium
Sodium and its compounds have been known to mankind even during the times of Medieval Europe. However, the Alkali Metal Sodium was first isolated back in 1807. Humphry Davy, a Cornish chemist, performed electrolysis on sodium hydroxide and thus, isolated the metal Sodium. Two years later, in 1809, one German physicist and chemist going by the name Ludwig Wilhelm Gilbert, proposed the term Natronium, but the element was later renamed to Sodium. Jöns Jakob Berzelius, a Swedish chemist, finally recognized the element Sodium as an Alkali Metal in his published works from 1814.
Recognized by: Jöns Jakob Berzelius (1814)
Known and discovered by: Humphry Davy (1807)
Named by: Ludwig Wilhelm Gilbert
Uses and role of Sodium
Sodium plays an essential role in all human beings, in all animals, and even in some plants. The element and its compounds are mainly used in metallurgy, optics, lasers, lamps, and construction of pipes, heat transfers, and conductors. The most common and popular compounds of Sodium– Sodium-Chloride, is used in everyday life as table salt.
When it comes to the biosphere this particular element plays a vital role for all living organisms, because it affects blood pressure, blood volume, pH levels, and the osmotic equilibrium.
Sodium on Earth
This chemical element is the sixth most abundant of all Periodic Elements on Earth. It does not occur naturally, but many of its compounds occur on Earth in their natural state. Sodium’s compounds can be found in the Earth’s crust in various minerals and rocks. It is also present in oceanic waters and has been detected in the Hale-Bopp comet back in 1997. The only stable isotope of Sodium–23Na, is isolated during the carbon fusion process created by stars.
Earlier this year scientists from the University of Leicester and the Open University made a groundbreaking discovery while studying the famous Gale crater on Mars. The scientists discovered that the crater and its many “veins” were actually formed after the water that once filled the Gale crater evaporated. The so-called veins in the Gale crater were actually paths for groundwater running under Mars’ surface. Their striking discovery concluded that Mars’ water is actually quite high on Sodium and Sulphate, and that it would probably taste 20 times as salty as the bottled water on Earth tastes.