Sodium |
Natan   Belgium
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Just some general info about the element we all know as sodium.
(Not to be confused with the nutrient commonly called "sodium" aka salt).

Sodium in the periodic table:
Atomic number (Z): 11
Group, block: group 1 (alkali metals), s-block
Period: period 3
Element category: alkali metal
Standard atomic weight (±): 22.98976928
Electron configuration : [Ne] 3s1

Physical properties:
Phase: solid
Melting point: 370.944 K ​(97.794 °C, ​208.029 °F)
Boiling point: 1156.090 K ​(882.940 °C, ​1621.292 °F)
Density near r.t.: 0.968 g/cm3
When liquid, at m.p.: 0.927 g/cm3
Critical point: 2573 K, 35 MPa
Heat of fusion: 2.60 kJ/mol
Heat of vaporization: 97.42 kJ/mol
Molar heat capacity: 28.230 J/(mol·K)

"Sodium /ˈsoʊdiəm is a chemical element with symbol Na (from Greek Νάτριο) and atomic number 11. It is a soft, silver-white, highly reactive metal. In the Periodic table it is in column 1 (alkali metals), and like the other six elements in that column, it has a single electron in its outer shell that it readily donates, creating a positively charged atom—a cation. Its only stable isotope is 23Na. The free metal does not occur in nature, but 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; 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 humans and cattle.

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 Na+/K+-ATPase, 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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