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More About Sodium
What the name means: The name sodium comes from the early Latin word sodanum that described a sodium compound used for relieving headaches.
The symbol for sodium is Na. This derives from the Latin word nitrum, a word used to describe alkalis. In Europe, this word was changed to natrum and, once the metal had been isolated, it was called natrium.
Who identified sodium?: In 1807 Humphry Davy was experimenting using electrolysis to try to separate the metal from the non-metal part in molten (melted) sodium compounds. He obtained sodium by the electrolysis of molten caustic soda (sodium hydroxide).
STP = standard temperature and pressure.
About sodium: Extracted sodium is soft, grey and looks shiny. It is extremely reactive. The metal is stored under oil to prevent a reaction with the oxygen in the air. Sodium belongs to the first vertical group of the periodic table, the alkali metals. Sodium hydroxide (caustic soda or lye) is a strong alkali that has been in use since ancient times. Sodium chloride, or common salt, is essential to all living things and has to be included in their diet. Humans need sodium chloride for the correct functioning of many of the body systems, for example the nervous system and the excretory system.
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