CHARLES D. WINTERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHARLES D. WINTERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sodium reacting with water. Water being dripped into a dish containing sodium metal. Sodium (chemical symbol Na) is a silver-white alkali metal. It reacts violently and exothermically (generating heat) with water (chemical symbol H2O), giving sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and hydrogen gas (H2). The reaction is explosive because the generated heat causes the hydrogen to ignite. The chemical equation for this reaction is: 2Na + 2H2O ----> 2NaOH + H2 Sodium metal is usually stored under kerosene because it oxidises when exposed to air.
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