Cut sodium metal

Cut sodium metal

C010/9658 Rights Managed

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Cut sodium metal. Chunk of the reactive metallic element sodium (Na). The shiny surface has been exposed by a knife cutting the soft metal. Sodium is an alkali metal that reacts rapidly with the water and oxygen in the air. This will tarnish the exposed shiny surface as the oxide and hydroxide form (see C010/9659). Sodium is not found in its elemental form in nature, due to it being highly reactive, and is mainly found in deposits of salt (sodium chloride), from which it is obtained by electrolysis.

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