Sodium, sodium. Atomic mass is the combination of

Sodium, which is number 11 on the periodic table, was discovered by Sir Humphry Davy in 1807. Its chemical symbol is Na and this element unlike others does not occur in nature, rather it must be prepared from compounds. The name is derived from the English word ‘soda’.   Sodium, a chemical element, is “a soft silvery-white,highly reactive metal.”Sir Humphry Davy, a chemist from the Royal Institution in London, made this discovery by exposing sodium hydroxide, NaOH, to an electric current. After the exposure of the element to the current, he was able to obtain a drop of sodium metal, which is an interesting fact because this procedure was used previously on potassium. What sets this method apart from his extraction of potassium is that he needed to use a stronger current to obtain the sodium. Atomic mass is the combination of both protons and neutrons. The atomic mass for Sodium is 22.98977 amu. The atomic number which was stated at the outset is 11.  The atomic number is the number of protons in an atom. This number is important because it distinguishes the elements from each other. If there were no atomic numbers it would be hard to determine the elements that are listed on the periodic table. Sodium is considered one of the most important elements of all the alkaline metals. Two other key facts to note about Sodium are that the boiling point is 883 °C and the melting point  is 97.5 °C.An interesting fact about sodium is that it is the sixth most abundant element on earth and it is not freely found in nature. It is usually compounded with other elements to create various compounds such as sodium chloride (NaCl), which is commonly known as table salt.         As previously stated, Sodium’s physical appearance is a silvery white metal. This metal unlike other metals is soft and can be easily cut with sharp objects such as a knife. Sodium reacts quickly when it is exposed to oxygen. When exposed to oxygen the element will tarnish within seconds of exposure.     Many people only know sodium as table-salt. Sodium is also used to melt the ice during snowy condition. Sodium can be used in the different forms of matter; solid, liquids, and gases. When sodium is found as a solid it is best used for being a heat exchanger. Sodium in the liquid pipes that surround the core of the reactor. Sodium in a gas used in making light bulbs.