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Sodium Sodium (Na)

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 06:29 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 48.5 
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Sodium has an atomic number of 11 and a mass of about 23g. It is a silvery white-metallic element classified under the alkali metals. Sodium has been known since early times and was used by the people of Mesopotamia and Egypt to make glasses. Sodium is the sixth most common element found on the earth. It is usually not found in nature but more often in compounds such as salt (NaCl). Sodium conducts heat and electricity easily. Without this element life could not exist. Each compound is used for a certain reason. About 2.8 percent of the earth's crust contains this element making it the sixth most common in the earth's crust. Sodium is found in compounds among dry lake beds, underground, and as well as in seawater in such places as: Belarus, China, France, Germany, India, Russia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the United States. Sodium is an extremely chemically active element. If combined with water it tends to react vigorously. For example . Since, sodium is such a dangerous element it has to be handled with care and stored airtight meaning without oxygen. Sodium was first extracted into pure form in 1807 by an English chemist known as Sir Humphry Davy. He used the process of electrolysis where an electrical current is passed through a molten sodium compound such as sodium chloride, sodium was first extracted into its pure form. Many manufacturers today still use electricity to obtain sodium. Sodium is still highly manufactured for many industrial and commercial uses. Sodium has commercial uses as well as industrial uses. From soaps to fertilizers, sodium is used to make water softeners, textiles, and is used as well as to relieve stomach acid, sodium bicarbonate: a white crystalline weakly alkaline salt NaHCO 3 used especially in baking 1 powders, fire extinguishers, and medicine. (Definition from Structure and Matter, Glossary) Photographers use sodium thiosulphate: a hygroscopic crystalline salt Na 2 S 2 O 3 used especially as a fixing agent (Definition from...


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