JERRY MASON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JERRY MASON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sodium burning. A sample of sodium burning in oxygen. Sodium is a soft, silvery-white metal with a low density and low melting point (98 Celsius). It reacts vigorously with oxygen and water, and is normally stored under oil to prevent tarnishing. When allowed to burn in oxygen, it forms a white solid residue of sodium oxide.
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