BEAUTY OF SCIENCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BEAUTY OF SCIENCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Thermographic footage of a piece of sodium metal in water. Warmer areas are brighter. Sodium is a highly reactive metallic element, and it reacts with water to produce hydrogen gas, sodium hydroxide and heat. The heat of the reaction melts the sodium, which floats on the water and shoots across the surface, leaving a trail of warm sodium hydroxide solution behind it. Chemical reactions that generate heat are called exothermic reactions.
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