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Cutting sodium metal

Cutting sodium metal

C011/4552

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Credit

MARTYN F. CHILLMAID / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARTYN F. CHILLMAID / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Cutting sodium metal. Freshly cut, shiny surface of a sample of sodium metal. Sodium (Na) is an alkali metal. It is soft enough to be cut with a knife. It reacts rapidly with water and oxygen in the air, therefore is usually kept in oil. This cut surface will tarnish rapidly as the oxide forms. Sodium occurs widely in nature, principally as sodium chloride (NaCl) in sea water and salt deposits. Sodium ions are essential to life.

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