What is sodium?

Sodium is the chemical element of atomic number 11. It is a soft silvery-white reactive metal belonging to the alkali metal group. Its abbreviation is Na.

How did sodium get its name? Does it match its abbreviation?

Sodium was named after the English word 'soda' and the word sodanum from Medieval Latin. Sodanum in Latin means 'headache remedy'. No, it doesn't match its abbreviation.

The Discovery of Sodium

Sodium was discovered by Sir Humphrey Davy at 1807 in England. Origin of name: from the English word "soda" (the origin of the symbol Na comes from the Latin word "natrium").

What does it look like at room temperature?

Sodium is silver grey with a tinge of brown in color and is very soft at room temperature. It can actually be cut with a normal knife. The surface is bright and shiny when first cut, but quickly becomes dull as sodium reacts with oxygen in the air.

Characteristics/Properties of Sodium

Melting point: 97.72 degrees Centigrade

Boiling point: 882.8 degrees Centigrade

Unusual facts about Sodium

Elemental sodium is highly toxic if you ate it as is...

Sodium makes up over 2.5% percent of the earth's crust.

Why is it important?

Sodium is an essential element for animal nutrition. In humans, sodium is important for maintaining fluid balance in the cells and throughout the body. The electric potential maintained by sodium ions is critical for nerve function.