Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MOTION

Caption: Elemental sodium metal being cut with a scalpel. Sodium has the atomic number 11, and is a soft, very reactive alkali metal. When cut with a scalpel, the shiny exposed metal surface reacts rapidly with oxygen and water in the air, forming a duller layer of sodium oxide and hydroxide (this has been sped up five times here). When sodium metal is dropped into water, the heat from the reaction is sufficient to melt it into a ball, and the reaction produces hydrogen gas and sodium hydroxide. The indicator phenolphthalein has been added to the water, which turns pink due to the presence of the strongly alkaline sodium hydroxide.

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Keywords: alkali, alkali metal, alkaline, base, basic, chemical, chemistry, close-up, cutting, demonstration, education, educational, element, experiment, gas, group one, heat, hydrogen, hydroxide, indicator, metal, metallic, molten, na, phenolphthalein, reacting, reaction, reactive, reactivity, scalpel, sequence, sodium, sodium metal and water, soft, water bath

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Sodium cut and dropped in water

K002/1291 Rights Managed

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Duration: 00:00:40.12

Frame size: 1920x1080

Frame rate: 25

Audio: No

Format: QuickTime, Photo JPEG 100%, progressive scan, square pixels

File size: 1.9G

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Capture format: HDCAM

Codec: Apple ProRes 422 (HQ)

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