Sodium Element Number 11 Na

 

 A large chunk of Sodium metal split for a photo. The metal was split with a kitchen knife, in a bowl of oil, The Sodium had began oxidizing within moments.

Sodium is one of my favorite elements, It seems I am always running out of this element as I just cant seem to stop throwing it into buckets of water. Sodium is a very reactive alkaline metal, and will explode in water due to its reactive nature. Sodium is never found in native form, because it reacts so vigorously. Sodium metal is soft and can be cut with sharp objects. Sodium can be stored in mineral or paraffin oils, or in wrappers that protect it.

Sodium is essential to some life, in the form of salt. Sodium is generally known as Sodium Chloride, or salt, and a human needs about .5 grams a day minimum, an American will usually consume 6 times that amount. Personally my doctor found me to be deficient, and gave me the advice to eat more chips, and other junk food! I always like to follow my doctors advice. People who are Sodium deficient can suffer low blood pressure, and faint, and the opposite is true of high Sodium diets, have high blood pressures.

Sodium is found in compounds like sodium Bicarbonate, or baking soda. The Egyptians used a compound called natron as a soap, this was a natural Sodium Carbonate and Sodium Bicarbonate. Trisodium Phosphate is used as a cleaning agent, such as prep for painting, a food additive, and a degreaser, I have used TSP as a Electrolyte for experiments.

A few other important compounds include, Borax, Sodium Nitrate, Sodium Thiosulfate, And caustic soda. Sodium has 20 isotopes but only 1 stable isotope. Two isotopes are the result of cosmic ray spallation. Na22 has a half life of 2.6 years, and Na24 has a half life of 15 hours, all other radio isotopes have less than 1minute half lives.

When exposed to Neutrons, the Na23 can convert to Na24 in the blood. Comparison of Na23 and Na24 ratios can help determine the exposure level of neutron radiation poisoning.

Then there is the Sodium vapor light bulb, used in high power lights. In Miami, while driving around, there are massive street lights, using Sodium vapor bulbs.

One more note, he term "worth your salt" was coined from the practice of Romans giving soldiers salt along with their wages, as salt was essential for health. Thus a good employee or worker is."worth their salt"

This is a large chunk of pure Sodium metal under paraffin oil, it weighs 28 grams. This chunk of Sodium could really make some noise. These are purchased in foil pouches. 

 

Na  11 metal AW: 22.98976928  D: .927  MP:207.9  BP:1621 Mohs: 0.

Magnesium Element Number 12 Mg 

 

This large pure Magnesium rod could be shaved and used to start a camp fire. I believe this rod is used in lightweight manufacture.

Magnesium is a lightweight metal, It is the 7th or 8th (depending on who you talk to) abundant element in the earths crust. Magnesium is found in seawater and is removed in a multi step process involving Calcium, acid,and electricity. Magnesium can also be found in some rocks and minerals, and extracted with a alternative process involving Silicon.

Magnesium has many important biological uses , it is used in medicines such as antacids, laxatives, antiseptics, and manufacture of pills, also used externally in form of salts. Magnesium is important to our bodies to help produce DNA and RNA. Magnesium deficiency could possibly cause depression,  Mg supplements are available.

I have a used Magnesium shavings to start fires, it burns very hot, and has a bright  UV emitting flame which should not be stared at, or it may harm your eyes. Mg ribbons can be used to ignite Thermite for welding. some car makers used Mg and its alloys for parts, from body parts to engine parts. If a car with a Magnesium engine block catches fire, its a really serious problem!  Magnesium can burn in Oxygen, Carbon dioxide, Nitrogen and, water!  not many choices to put the fire out!!

Magnesium is some of the "stuff" that makes water "hard" and can be removed with salt softener systems, as long as you don't forget to replace the salt periodically. It is also used in fertilizers because plants use it to help photosynthesis.

there are many cool uses for Magnesium in many industries, alloys, light weight parts, and drink containers, refining, coating, pharmacy, textiles, even to help reduce Uranium and Uranium salts. The list of Mg uses is long, I have many sample types of this cool metal!

 Below these 2 crystalline clusters of pure Magnesium were created by my friend in Italy. These clusters are kept under oil for good measure, they are both delicate and beautiful.

Mg. 12  metal  BP: 1994f  MP: 1202f,  AW: 24.305  Mohs: 2.5