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     11    

11 Na Sodium

Alkali metal, mass: 22.990 u, 1 stable isotope (23), abundance rank (earth/space): 6/14

Click image to magnify. 0.5 grams sodium with a white hydroxide (NaOH) crust under paraffin oil. Original size in cm: 1 x 1.5
Sodium Sodium back side
Sodium is a very abundant element, that can be found in compounds everywhere on earth, most notably in sea water. Sodium chloride, NaCl, is table salt. Sodium is essential to all animals, but only to a few plants. Elemental sodium is a silvery white, very soft and light metal, which reacts fast and fiercely with many substances (e.g. water), but not with dry air.

Sodium vapor lamp
Sodium glows in a very specific yellow. A common application for this are sodium vapor lamps, which are often used as street lights, like the one shown here. Those spend relatively little energy, give a good contrast and are better for nocturnal insects.


The images are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License, unless otherwise noted. Attribution by linking (outside of the internet credit with url) to the according element page.