What is Sodium: Definition and 221 Discussions

Sodium is a chemical element with the symbol Na (from Latin natrium) and atomic number 11. It is a soft, silvery-white, highly reactive metal. Sodium is an alkali metal, being in group 1 of the periodic table. Its only stable isotope is 23Na. The free metal does not occur in nature, and must be prepared from compounds. Sodium is the sixth most abundant element in the Earth's crust and exists in numerous minerals such as feldspars, sodalite, and rock salt (NaCl). Many salts of sodium are highly water-soluble: sodium ions have been leached by the action of water from the Earth's minerals over eons, and thus sodium and chlorine are the most common dissolved elements by weight in the oceans.
Sodium was first isolated by Humphry Davy in 1807 by the electrolysis of sodium hydroxide. Among many other useful sodium compounds, sodium hydroxide (lye) is used in soap manufacture, and sodium chloride (edible salt) is a de-icing agent and a nutrient for animals including humans.
Sodium is an essential element for all animals and some plants. Sodium ions are the major cation in the extracellular fluid (ECF) and as such are the major contributor to the ECF osmotic pressure and ECF compartment volume. Loss of water from the ECF compartment increases the sodium concentration, a condition called hypernatremia. Isotonic loss of water and sodium from the ECF compartment decreases the size of that compartment in a condition called ECF hypovolemia.
By means of the sodium-potassium pump, living human cells pump three sodium ions out of the cell in exchange for two potassium ions pumped in; comparing ion concentrations across the cell membrane, inside to outside, potassium measures about 40:1, and sodium, about 1:10. In nerve cells, the electrical charge across the cell membrane enables transmission of the nerve impulse—an action potential—when the charge is dissipated; sodium plays a key role in that activity.

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  1. R

    Sodium carbonate vs sodium bicarbonate

    Dear all, How to identify sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate? I have these two powders, and did not label. Thanks for your reply. Cheers, Rajini
  2. PainterGuy

    Understanding Flame Tests: Exploring Sodium and Chloride

    Hi, I was reading about flame test and need your to understand few points. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flame_test#Process Q1: My question is about the part in red in the quoted text above. What does it mean when it says, "with hydrochloric acid to remove traces of previous...
  3. BenDover

    Oxygen gas produced by a Solid element + sodium hydroxide solution?

    Hello. I am wondering; which solid at room temperature elements produce oxygen gas when put into a solution of sodium hydroxide? Thanks
  4. S

    Is Sodium Fluoride a Silent Killer?

    I had thought that NaF is used as dental treatment!
  5. xpell

    Calculating Energy Released by Sodium Reacting with Water

    Hi! After watching a couple videos about the explosive reaction of sodium in freshwater and seawater, I felt curious and wanted to calculate how much energy is released. However, my Chemistry is super rusty and I think that my result is way too high (equivalent to almost 2 g of TNT per gram of...
  6. P

    How can I make a sodium anion (Na-)?

    I tried to find out if the anion of sodium exists and I saw reference to it in some research papers. I realize that it would be uncommon because Na would most likely give up its electron rather than get another electron. So, does it really exist and if so how is it formed?
  7. G

    Sodium or calcium hypochlorite related to 2.5% active chlorine?

    is sodium or calcium hypochlorite related to 2.5% active chlorine? in a cleaning product it has the following composition: sodium or calcium hypochlorite, active chlorine
  8. L

    Potassium sodium tartrate preparation and comparison with recipes

    Hi hi, here a question, how can we prepare Potassium sodium tartrate?, well, there is a lot of sites and videos, but in order to this right I'll write what have I done and checked, I'll try use the info I have, even if is not very dependable. First, we need sodium carbonate, to do this, we can...
  9. BWV

    Sodium Hydroxide + Iron Oxide: Green Tint Explained?

    Was spraying oven cleaner on a somewhat rusted grill and my son, who is taking AP chemistry, asked about the green color that appeared. googled sodium hydroxide + iron oxide and got this FeO + 4NaOH = Na₄FeO₃+ 2H₂O but can't find any info on Na₄FeO₃ - would this have a green tint, and is...
  10. G

    Questions about muriatic acid and hypochlorite sodium

    is muriatic acid the same as hydrochloric acid? here in Brazil in markets it sells muriatic acid and disinfectant sodium hypochlorite active chlorine 2.5% if someone uses these two products if they are stopped for cleaning the bathroom when the bottles are open they evaporate it travels all...
  11. Kaushik

    Chemistry Finding the pH of this acid and its sodium salt solution

    For finding the pH of the acid, I made use of the equilibrium law (or the law of mass action) to arrive at the degree of dissociation which I later used to get the [H+] concentration. I am stuck in finding the pH of the salt solution. ##CH2ClOO^- + H2O <---> CHClOOH + OH^-## Could you please...
  12. fsonnichsen

    Sodium Vapor Lamps (low pressure) for spectral calibration and diffraction work

    Just curious if anyone out there is using the old low pressure sodium vapor lamps for spectral calibration and diffraction work. I was surprised that I do not see any bench ready laboratory lamps from the usual vendors. I understand that the last manufacturer of the low pressure bulbs, Philips...
  13. G

    Can Sodium Carbonate be Produced Using a DIY Setup?

    Hello ppl amateur chemist here Before I begin, I want to ask if anyone here knows and is willing to teach me of a cheap, workable process to create sodium carbonate? With that out of the way, I want to talk about how I recently become very interested in this useful chemical called sodium...
  14. B

    Sodium Potassium Pump's role in Breathing?

    Hello, this is a question that popped into my head, but I cannot seem to find much literature pertaining to what I am wanting to know. Does Na+/K+ pump play a role in breathing in humans? If it does, would failure of this pump lead to asphyxiation? If it doesn't, then what DOES play a role in...
  15. B

    Propagation of Error for Sodium Doublet Lines

    The equation we used in this lab was Δλ = (λ^2 / 2Δd) where Δλ is the separation of the sodium D doublet lines and is the value we're trying to calculate, λ^2 is the wavelength of sodium light given in the lab manual (589 nm) and Δd is the distance one of the mirror moves to go from one faint...
  16. K

    What is the use of sodium bicarbonate and electrolyzed water?

    I've bought a cleaning agent which advertises that it contains "sodium bicarbonate and electrolyzed water"and is "different" from normal cleaning detergent. In fact, what is the home use of such chemicals??
  17. marcophys

    Can glucose combine with sodium bicarbonate?

    I fell upon an article outlining the general health benefits of a balanced pH, and specific anti cancer benefits. ... both concepts are well supported in published studies. The article then went on to describe a protocol, whereby sodium bicarbonate is dissolved in liquefied honey. The principal...
  18. T

    Does sodium bicarbonate solution release CO2 when heated?

    Homework Statement Solid sodium bicarbonate decompose when it's heated above 50 celsius. However, when it is dissolved in water interactions of components changes. So what happens when sodium hydrogen carbonate solution is heated? Does it release carbon dioxide when temperature is above 50...
  19. C

    Wood/Glass/Metal Can I use sodium silicate waterglass to cast a glass object?

    Waterglass is sodium silicate dissolved in water that upon drying forms soda glass. Could it therefore be used to cast a glass object like a slab or will it not form nicely?
  20. jus_thom

    Volume/Mass of SO2 released from a Sodium Bisulphite Solution?

    The aim is to work out the ventilation requirements for the Sodium Bisulfite (NaHSO3) storage room to ensure COSHH compliance. From my understanding, the oxidation of NaHSO3 with air results in the formation of SO2. The vapor cloud above the bisulfite solution is composed of SO2 and H2O...
  21. Krushnaraj Pandya

    Electrolysis of sodium sulphate

    Homework Statement I want to know what happens at the anode and why it happens during the electrolysis of sodium sulphate. 2. The attempt at a solution Na+ and H+ move towards cathode, H+ is discharged due to Electrode potential values. What happens to the SO42- ions and how is O2 produced at...
  22. V

    Designing Car Floatation Devices: What Alternatives to Sodium Azide?

    I need to make the design of car floatation devices. In my case, the airbag/raft is for floating the car in case of floods. I am considering to use Sodium Azide, just like in car airbags, but it inflates very fast and shrinks in a short time. Is there any other chemical reaction that can produce...
  23. R

    Sodium hypochlorite and alkyl benzene sulfonic acid

    Hello, wondering if anyone can confirm if 7% Sodium Hypochlorite and alkyl benzene sulfonic acid are compatible to mix together? Any concerns or reactions to be aware of?
  24. Marcus95

    Fringe Visibility of Sodium Doublet in Michelson interferometer

    Homework Statement The sodium D-lines are a pair of narrow, closely spaced, approximately equal intensity spectral lines with a mean wavelength of approximately 589 nm. A Michelson interferometer is set up to study the D-lines from a sodium lamp. High contrast fringes are seen for zero...
  25. Z

    Sodium Thiosulfate Reaction Time with HCl vs. Sulfuric Acid

    Was wondering if there is a difference in time of reaction between sodium thiosulfate with HCl and sodium thiosulfate with sulfuric acid. If so, what is this difference and why does this occur?
  26. Wrichik Basu

    B Obtaining spectrum of Sodium from Sodium Vapour Lamp

    I learned that two lines in the emission spectrum of Sodium, namely ## D_1 ## and ## D_2 ##, are on the visible region of the spectrum. Can I obtain these lines from a Sodium vapour lamp? I want to use a prism to separate out the individual wavelengths, a no then use a photographic film to...
  27. N

    How sodium alginate changes the viscosity in water?

    Hello everyone. I have a question about the sodium alginate (NaC6H7O6)n. Recently, sodium alginate is widely used for fabricating edible bottle. And I also try to utilize sodium alginate for controlling the viscosity of water. I found that with small amount of sodium alginate powder in DI water...
  28. I

    Why is Sodium Abbreviated "Na"?

    Why is Sodium "Na"? Shouldn't it be called "So" or something like that? What is the process for deciding the abbreviations for elements?
  29. Muddy37

    Converting sodium percarbonate to hydrogen peroxide

    I noticed a previous thread on the above subject in this forum. For several years now, I have used 30% concentration hydrogen peroxide mixed with a few drops of ammonia to very great effect* for dealing with blood stains on cotton fabrics (on sheets—a recurring problem for me) by soaking the...
  30. B

    Sodium bicarbonate and Acid Neutralization time

    If let's say a person accidentally has acid spilled in his hands, if he sprays or reaches for baking soda (or sodium bicarbonate) to neutralize the acd, how fast is the reaction? is it enough to avoid any skin damage? Are these part of any First Aid kit? Just curious about this. I read...
  31. B

    Should sodium lipoate react with ascorbic acid?

    Hi, I've bought R-Alpha lipoic acid powder (not sure about its purity). So I mixed 500mg of ALA with 250mg sodium bicarbonate to get sodium lipoate, 30 minutes later (when the reaction is over) I added some 250mg of pure ascorbic acid to the final mixture and some small amount of insoluble...
  32. A

    The latent heat of crystallisation of sodium chlorate

    I am a retired electronic engineer and no scientist. I am considering the use of a saturated solution of sodium chlorate as a thermal store. My problems are: 1/ I have no idea of the quantities involved in terms of heat/gram of crystals. My intention is to maintain a supply of hot water for a...
  33. T

    Is the covalent character of sodium chloride affected by its polarity?

    I found out that sodium chloride has a dipole moment of 9 debye, and a sodium-chlorine distance of .28 nm. When I divide one by the other, I get 2/3 of an electron. Did my math go wrong somewhere, or is this supposed to happen? I expected something close to a full elementary charge.
  34. R

    Why are the Earth's oceans and seas full of sodium chloride?

    Why are the Earth's oceans and seas full of sodium chloride? I know there are other salts and compound dissolved in it, but comparatively small amounts. Where did all the Sodium and Chlorine originate from?, these are not rare on Earth, but other elements like aluminum are magnesium are in...
  35. A

    Solving a pH Change After Adding Sulfuric Acid to Sodium Hydroxide

    Homework Statement A 50.0 mL aqueous solution of sodium hydroxide has a pH of 12.50. If 36.00 ml of 0.0200 mol/L sulfuric acid is added to this sodium hydroxide solution, what will be the new pH of the resulting solution? Assume that the temperature stays constant at 25C, and that the volumes...
  36. Conductivity

    Sodium concentration during action potential generation

    ' At the peak of the graph, Is the concentration of Na outside the cell is more than inside? because that must be to overcome the electrical force in the opposite direction but my book says that that inside the cell there are more Na than outside When is the concentration of Na+ greatest inside...
  37. tensor0910

    Sodium light on 2 glass bars -- What's going on here?

    Homework Statement This is less of a calculation and more of a observation problem: Our teacher shined a sodium light on top of two stacked pieces of translucent glass. We then had to bend down to get eye level with the stacked glass. When we did this you could see dark ( concentric?) rings...
  38. Kara386

    Energy shift in excited state sodium

    Homework Statement The spin-orbit interaction in sodium results in fine structure with energy shifts given by: ##\Delta E_j = \frac{C}{2}[j(j+1)-l(l+1)-s(s+1)]## If ##l##, ##s## and ##j## describe the single outer electron in sodium. Show that if this electron is excited to a state where l>0...
  39. Schwarzschild90

    Sodium Bose Gas: Critical Temperature & Law of Diminishing N0

    Homework Statement 3: When the temperature is increased slightly above T = 0, it is self-consistent to assume to that the chemical potential stays \mu(T) = 0, as long as there is a macroscopic number N0 oscillators in the ground state (You should not prove this!). The N atoms in the system are...
  40. B

    High Pressure Sodium and Metal Halide lamps near plasma ball

    I bought one of these plasma globes, decided to do some experiments with it. Since a fluorescent bulb will light up if It's put near the plasma ball, i tried the same with two HID lamps. The Metal Halide shows a very pale white arc, which disappears as soon as the plasma ball is turned off...
  41. S

    Sodium Silicate dielectric? Vacuum Feedthrough

    Cant seem to find a kv/mm for waterglass/sodium silicate. I was thinking of using it as an electrical insulator for vacuum feedthroughs, expecting an easy seal as I hear it expands when heat cured, therefore pushing against the chamber wall and the wires to prevent leaks and also seal by its...
  42. C

    Sodium hypochlorate has formed a dark brown precipitate?

    I boiled a solution of sodium hypochlorate down to make what I thought was sodium chloride and sodium chlorate - a light brown coloured powder. However, this evening when I looked at it again it had formed a darker brown powder that was almost like soil with a few white clumps here and there...
  43. J

    Effective Nuclear Charge for Sodium Atom

    Homework Statement The 3s state Na has an energy of -5.14 eV. Determine the effective nuclear charge. Homework Equations ##Z_{eff} = Z - s## Where Z is the atomic number and s is the number of shells in inner orbits. The Attempt at a Solution The textbook doesn't go into much more detail...
  44. RJLiberator

    Thermal Equilibrium Temperature Question Sodium and Water

    Homework Statement Expose the error: When sodium is placed in water, a violent reaction always occurs; therefore sodium and water can never be at the same temperature. Homework Equations Thermal equilibrium and temperature. Zeroth law. Isotherms. The Attempt at a Solution My Answer: The...
  45. Comeback City

    How do I safely react NaOH with HF to yield H20 and NaF?

    I have been reading about how NaOH (Sodium Hydroxide) reacting with HF (Hydrofluoric Acid) yields the products H20 (Water) and NaF (Sodium Fluoride). If I were to do this, would I need the EXACT same quantity of NaOH as HF to get H20 and NaF?
  46. F

    Can Sodium Ions in the Brain Be Excited with Electromagnetic Radiation?

    Is it possible to excite the sodium ion in the brain with photon from electromagnetic radiation to create a yellow glow like the sodium-vapor lamp here? Please bear with me, I'm bad with Chemistry
  47. R

    Sodium Bicarbonate Thermal Decomposition

    I have a question about the thermal decomposition of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). I need to use baking soda for an experiment but will not be using a burner to heat it. We are heating it to about 90-100C and I was wondering if we put vessel the baking soda is in under vacuum -0.5bar or...
  48. lasha1

    Electrolysis of sodium chloride solution

    In electrolysis of nacl where is sodium? Ok clorine is producing as gas but sodium?
  49. T

    Measuring Voltage Across the Blood-Brain Barrier: Is the Dermis a Barrier?

    Is there a way to measure the amount of voltage used when transmitting from the blood brain barrier to a particular muscle outside of the skin or is the dermis too thick?
  50. skepticwulf

    Why are Na atoms depicted smaller than Cl atoms in Chemistry books?

    Atomic radii of Na is much bigger than of Cl yet the drawings in Chemistry books often depict Na atoms smaller than Cl. Is there a reason for that??