What is Lithium: Definition and 104 Discussions

Lithium (from Greek: λίθος, romanized: lithos, lit. 'stone') is a chemical element with the symbol Li and atomic number 3. It is a soft, silvery-white alkali metal. Under standard conditions, it is the lightest metal and the lightest solid element. Like all alkali metals, lithium is highly reactive and flammable, and must be stored in vacuum, inert atmosphere or inert liquid such as purified kerosene or mineral oil. When cut, it exhibits a metallic luster, but moist air corrodes it quickly to a dull silvery gray, then black tarnish. It never occurs freely in nature, but only in (usually ionic) compounds, such as pegmatitic minerals, which were once the main source of lithium. Due to its solubility as an ion, it is present in ocean water and is commonly obtained from brines. Lithium metal is isolated electrolytically from a mixture of lithium chloride and potassium chloride.
The nucleus of the lithium atom verges on instability, since the two stable lithium isotopes found in nature have among the lowest binding energies per nucleon of all stable nuclides. Because of its relative nuclear instability, lithium is less common in the solar system than 25 of the first 32 chemical elements even though its nuclei are very light: it is an exception to the trend that heavier nuclei are less common. For related reasons, lithium has important uses in nuclear physics. The transmutation of lithium atoms to helium in 1932 was the first fully man-made nuclear reaction, and lithium deuteride serves as a fusion fuel in staged thermonuclear weapons.Lithium and its compounds have several industrial applications, including heat-resistant glass and ceramics, lithium grease lubricants, flux additives for iron, steel and aluminium production, lithium batteries, and lithium-ion batteries. These uses consume more than three-quarters of lithium production.
Lithium is present in biological systems in trace amounts; its functions are uncertain. Lithium salts have proven to be useful as a mood-stabilizer in the treatment of bipolar disorder in humans.

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  1. J

    B Why does Lithium fission produce energy?

    Hi, a simple question from an amateur: Why does Lithium fission produce energy instead of consuming it? (https://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/current-and-future-generation/lithium.aspx) I always thought that fission of heavy elements produces energy, and fusion of light elements...
  2. T

    Safer Lithium Ion Batteries - a Significant Step

    The folks at MIT have found a way to avoid the dendrites that short-circuit Li Ion batteries. This will allow getting rid of the very flammable liquid electrolyte. https://news.mit.edu/2022/controlling-dendrities-lithium-batteries-1118 Cheers, Tom
  3. J

    Lithium Charging Load Resistance?

    I'm trying to understand the load-resistance of an A123 Nanophosphate High Power Lithium Ion cell. https://www.buya123products.com/uploads/vipcase/844c1bd8bdd1190ebb364d572bc1e6e7.pdf My understanding is that resistance increases as the cell charges. The datasheet says "Internal Impedance...
  4. C

    Residential concrete densifier and sealer?

    Hello! I have absolutely no background in the sciences / chemistry, so I thought maybe you folks could help dumb it down for me. I am renovating an old house and just got new concrete poured in the basement. I want to polish the floors and leave them uncovered for environmental and health...
  5. Synco

    Big doubt about graphene in batteries

    Well people i'm looking electric Motorcycles. And the same seller it's selling a 72V50Ah battery and a 72V60Ah battery, both IN THE SAME WEIGHT, every battery in the shop occurs the same. So or we have a factory mistake, scam, witchery .....or...graphene in the lithium. I have been reading that...
  6. gggnano

    I Negative energy when a laser goes through lithium niobate crystal?

    A screenshot from a book which describes it: So I am trying to picture this one: 1. A laser is "pumped" through a cylinder made from lithium niobate which is placed at 90 degrees, perpendicularly...so that the laser passes through the body of the cylinder (and not through the 2 round ends)...
  7. X

    B A muon enters a lithium battery....

    Just wondering what would happen if a muon entered the LiH dense environment of a lithium battery. Could it explain the instances of spontaneous combustion of the battery in electric vehicles? Li + H => He
  8. K

    Question about Lithium batteries

    If a rechargeable Lithium battery is new and not used for a few years, will it degrade much slower or as fast as the one that is regularly used, charged and discharged? What if I only start to use it after a few years for the first time, will the battery already degrade so badly
  9. A

    Lithium hydroxide from Li-7 as used in thermal reactors

    So I read that lithium hydroxide made from Li-7 is used as an anti-corrosion additive in light water reactors purely for the "longevity" and "well being" of the vessel and structural auxiliary elements like steam pipes etc. Lithium separation is a rather chemically "nasty" task if using the...
  10. C

    Pure Sine Wave Inverter using Two Lithium Ion Batteries

  11. NTL2009

    Safe to charge a Lithium Battery with a Voltage Limit?

    All the references I find refer to safely charging lithium cells by a method like this: https://www.powerstream.com/li.htm The next page shows the effects on capacity of charging to less than the 4.2 V terminal cell voltage. For example, charging to 4.0 V still provides 73% of the capacity...
  12. Stonestreecty

    I How do I know the lithium content of a lithium-ion battery?

    Power bank is common for our daily life, especially for our smart phone, which always a lithium-ion battery. Taking airplane is easy at our daily life, but there are restrictions on lithium content for air travel, thus air travelers ask the question "How much lithium in a battery am I allowed to...
  13. bob012345

    I Lithium Atom Ground State Radial Wavefunction

    I would like to see what the shape of the ground state radial wavefunction for the Lithium atom is. An approximate function that shows the shape would be fine. Thanks.
  14. A

    B Lithium problem in Big Bang nucleosynthesis?

    I frequently read of the problem that the measured primordial abundance of lithium does not match the amount expected by Big Bang nucleosynthesis theory. However, I see also graphs like these which seem to suggest that everything is as expected. Is this a contradiction or am I misreading the...
  15. Adrian Tudini

    Infrared emission of Lithium Nitrite (LiNO2)

    Hi i am trying to find the infrared emission spectrum of Lithium Nitrite on the web but having no luck. Has the spectrum been measured? If so, can I be redirected to the resource? This for general interest and a personal project. Thanks.
  16. patric44

    Chemistry Why does this equation not give me the ionization energy of lithium?

    i am trying to calculate the first ionization energy for lithium with this equation but it seems to work only with hydrogen ? i put nf = infinity and ni =2 ,and z = 3 for lithium and it gives about 30 ev not 5.39172 ev which is the value for lithium : i will appreciate any help in this
  17. P

    Would a charged lithium battery combust more energetically?

    Conceptually this question makes sense to me I know a overcharged lithium battery will became unstable however with identical batteries except a different level of charge what would the properties of their combustion be? In depth conceptual, and mechanical explanations are always appreciated as...
  18. F

    Alternative for lithium in Deuterium-Tritium fusion power

    Is there alternative ways for producing Tritium for fusion power plants other than using lithium?. In the wiki article about fusion power I read that Deuterium-Deuterium fusion produce Tritium so I wonder if this can be used as a way to produce tritium for Deuterium-Tritium fusion power plants...
  19. eigenmax

    How to calculate the Coulomb barrier between a proton and a lithium nucleus

    Homework Statement How to calculate the Coulomb barrier between a proton and a lithium nucleus. The variable is r (interaction radius). The known data is Z1, Z2, k (Coulomb constant), and e (elementary charge). Homework Equations The equation is UCoul = kZ1Z2e2/r The Attempt at a Solution I...
  20. B

    Determining ionization energy of Lithium.

    Homework Statement What is the third ionization energy of Li in its ground state? A. 4.91 E-18 J B. 6.54 E-18 J C. 7.79 E-18 J D. 9.20 E-18 J E. 1.96 E-17 J Homework Equations Maybe: EN=-(2.18E-18)(Z2/N2) The Attempt at a Solution Plugging in values doesn't give me any of the answers. At...
  21. G

    Pinout of a lithium battery

    Hi all, Does anyone know what each pin of this Hitachi 5 Ah 18V Li-ion battery does?: From left to right: C+ + T V LS - LD It powers a cordless grinder that wouldn’t switch on. Only the +, -, and LD pins are present on the tool itself. I’m guessing: C+: Charge enable? T: Temp...
  22. Smalde

    I Why are Beryllium-7 neutrinos monoenergetic?

    In one step of the solar ppII chain the following reaction (may) take place: ⁷Be + e⁻ --> ⁷Li + ν_e This reaction was used in the famous homestake experiment to detect solar neutrinos when the famous solar neutrino problem came into play. In...
  23. Chronos

    I A possible solution to the cosmic lithium problem

    This paper; https://arxiv.org/abs/1701.04149, Non-extensive Statistics Solution to the Cosmological Lithium Problem, offers a plausible solution to the cosmic lithium problem that has baffled astrophysics, and BBN aficionados, for decades. Unlike prior efforts, it does not invoke any BTSM...
  24. P

    Lithium is the 3rd most common element in the universe

    I was watching a video on Elon Musk. I believe he is a smart guy and he certainly knows is stuff. However, he said something in this video which I was surprised about and I can't seem to corroborate with various Google searching. Someone asked him whether there was enough Lithium on Earth to...
  25. A

    What are the properties of lithium gas?

    I know this may be a dumb question but I don't know it. What I want to know is when lithium is heat and becomes a gas/vapor, does it still have the properties of lithium. Also I know that when water is changed between a liquid, gas, and solid, it always stays as H2O on the molecular level, can...
  26. P

    How to wire a Lithium Battery Pack Q

    hi all, i am embarking on a new project, building a outdoor rolling credenza that has TV (with air operated TV lift), cd player, small receiver, 100% wireless (power and wifi, etc). my design calls for a battery pack that can deliver approx 5x106 joules, this leaves me in the ballpark of...
  27. sevenperforce

    Clean lithium fission saltwater rocket

    Had been talking NSWRs on a spaceflight forum and a thought occurred to me. Lithium-6 fission can be triggered with relatively low-energy neutrons and releases 4.78 MeV, a helium-4 atom, and a tritium atom. Without a neutron flux, however, lithium-6 is completely stable. With a small...
  28. Chris Wallin

    Eutectic alloy with Strontium & Lithium?

    Hello! I am looking for a eutectic (liquid) alloy that includes Strontium and Lithium at or near room temperature. Does anyone have an idea of where to look for it? Thanks!
  29. B

    Reaction mechanism for ketone and vinyl lithium

    Homework Statement What is the product of 1-bromo-3-propanone treated with vinyl lithium? Homework Equations The Attempt at a Solution I know that the carbonyl is attcked by the organolithium but I am having a hard time understanding how it attaches to the carbonyl since it is sp2...
  30. P

    Lithium Ion Charging Voltage

    Hi, I have built a large, lithium ion battery bank, so that I may power some of my projects from battery. The bank is 10,000 milliamp hours at 16.9 volts, and was wondering the following. Can I charge my 16.9 volt battery pack with a 12 volt dc source? would It decrease the efficiency? Would...
  31. N

    Spin-flip of lithium core electrons

    Hydrogen electrons can spin-flip and emit a 21 cm photon. Can core electrons in a metal like lithium spin flip? If so, is the energy required to do so similar to hydrogen?
  32. evilfreddie

    Li-Ion Battery Charger for Drill - 12V 3s Balance Charger

    Hey all I've got an old drill witch nicad batteries had died so i replaced them with 3 li ion batterys for 12v i still have the old charger plug so far I've hadto unsolder the batterys to charge them does anyone know of a 3s balance charger for lithium ion batterys asi can't find any online Tia
  33. Lensmonkey

    How to calculate birefringence in lithium niobate LiNbO3

    I am trying to calculate what thickness of LiNbO3 would displace a beam of light 9 microns. I seek to make something like a microscope slide that would displace light in the vertical. I am confused about something else if someone can clarify; for the crystal, I think the "z" axis is "optical...
  34. K

    340Ah Lithium LifeP04 battery: How many AC watts?

    Hello, Sorry for a newbie Q. If I have a 340ah Lithium LifeP04 12V battery in my camping trailer... its BMS set to 5% (for a drainage of 95% = 323 usable amp hours)... it is hooked to an inverter claiming to have 88% efficiency... how many AC watts (@ 120V) can I expect in theory, or...
  35. S

    How to verify the Energy delivered by Lithium ion battery?

    How to verify the Energy and Capacity delivered by the Lithium Ion battery? I have a Lithium ion batter with below configuration: Nominal Voltage 4.2 V Nominal capacity 2250 mAh I am calculating the energy and capacity every second for my experiments. I use below formula to calculate the...
  36. I

    Difference between Lithium Ion and Nickel Metal Hydride

    Obviously there are MANY differences, but I'm curious about one in particular. In an article I read, the creator used NiMH batteries because of their high charge density, but also because they do not require a charge controller and voltage regulator in the circuitry. Why is this, and is there...
  37. Stephanus

    Fission or Fusion? Exploring Nuclear Reactions with Li-6

    Dear PF Forum, In previous thread, I am asking about fusion power. But there is one thing that intriguing me. This is one of the reactions that produces tritium. n + _3^6Li -> _2^4He + _1^3H + 4.8 Mev What is this reaction called? 1. Fusion? If yes, why it's called fusion? 2. Fission? 3. Other...
  38. marellasunny

    10S4P with Lithium ion battery; Question on the calculation

    I am planning to use the Panasonic NCR-18650 cylindrical cells for a BEV (Battery Electrical Vehicle). As it would be easier to buy ready-made modules, I have found a supplier selling a Li-ion pack that delivers 417 Wh(or in other words 11.6 Ah) at 36 V (something like what this guy uses...
  39. R

    Lithium Ion Charging: Constant Current vs Constant Voltage

    Good afternoon. I was going to make a 4.2v Lithium ion charger circuit, but so far what i have learned is, i will be needing constant current charger, so my question is what will happen if i charge with constant voltage? Like from a regulator maybe a linear one and i give like 4/4.1 volt...
  40. T

    Lithium Batteries: Benefits & Properties

    why lithium is good for battery's. ...what the property's for lithium...
  41. D

    Make lithium grease thinner.

    Hi! I was about lubricating my computer fan. The WD40/sewing/machine oil dries up quickly so I was wondering about Lithium grease, but unfortunately it's too thick, and it won't flow into the bearings. So I was wondering about ways to thin it. I read thinner is good, but can I use WD40 oil...
  42. R

    Lithium battery capacity meter

    Dear Friends Is there a good battery capacity measurement device you can recommend? I need to measure how much capacity a lithium pack really has. Thanks. regards Ramone
  43. S

    Lithium scattering on iron plate

    Homework Statement Every second ##N_{Li}=2\cdot 10^8## atoms of ##_3^7Li## with kinetic energy ##30 MeV## is Coulomb scattering on ##_{26}^{56}Fe## plate ##d_{Fe}=0.3mm## thick with density ##\rho =7800kg/m^3##. Under angle of ##30^°## and ##r=0.2m## away from the plate we have a target with...
  44. P

    Lithium hydrogen fusion

    why doesn't background radiation cause lithium hydride to explode in a nuclear chain reaction Li7 + H = Be8 + energy Be8 = 2He4 + energy
  45. J

    Lithium Battery Life: High Setting, Cold Weather & Insulation

    I got a lithium battery pack for my ski glove. On high it last for 2 hour, 4 hours for medium but on low it only last 3 hours. Why does the battery not working long on high? Does the cold weather affect the batteries from operating at its peaks power. Would it be better if I use some type of...
  46. S

    Two times ionized Lithium

    Homework Statement Two times ionized Lithium (Z=3) in excited states emits two photons, one with ##\lambda _1=72.91 nm## and another one with ##\lambda _2=13.5 nm##. In which excited state was originally the ion? Homework Equations The Attempt at a Solution Since two times ionized...
  47. S

    Questions about charging lithium batteries (to prolong battery life)

    Hi, I want to know what is the proper methods to prolong lithium battery life: When Should I recharge the battery(at any level 90%, 70 or 40 etc)? Should I charging it fully at 100%? is true that discharging battery below 20% once each month is useful to boost battery life?
  48. D

    Lithium fluoride (LiF) etching/patterning possible?

    Does any of you know about Lithium fluoride (LiF) etching/patterning? I'm wondering if I can pattern a slab of LiF as if it were SiO2 glass: standard lithography, followed by etch. But I haven't found anything in the literature about LiF etching experiments. I'd like to use dry etch chemistry...
  49. A

    Formula for lithium nitride

    We have to give the formula for lithium nitride. I know the answer is Li3N. But, I do not understand why it is not Li2N2. I drew the lewis structure and there is a way to arrange that molecule. Why don't we specify with the prefixes the number of atoms trilithium nitride? In a same way, why...
  50. M

    Question about lithium battery

    Why can't primary lithium batteries (that are not lithium IONS) be developed as secondary batteries? Can someone explain this to me?