Does Sodium Conduct Electricity? 9 Facts You Should Know


Sodium is an alkali metal, soft and silvery-white in colour. Let us discuss whether sodium conducts electricity.

Solid conducts electricity as it has many free electrons that are free to mobile. It is mostly in the ionic form, and it dissociates ions quickly in the aqueous or, when dissolved in water, helps conduct electricity.

Sodium is a highly reactive element that catches fire when exposed to the air; thus, it is stored in kerosene often. Let us ponder upon how sodium conducts electricity in this article ahead.

How does sodium conduct electricity?

Sodium compounds mostly conduct electricity in an aqueous form. Let us discuss in detail how sodium conducts electricity.

Sodium conducts electricity by the motion of ions in water. It has only one electron in its valence shell, which makes it highly reactive. These valence electrons are dissociated when mixed in water to form an ion gaining a positive charge.

What is the electrical conductivity of sodium?

The electrical conductivity of metal is calculated based on the number of electrons per unit volume and their drift velocity. Let us evaluate the same for sodium.

The electrical conductivity of sodium is 2.157 ×107 Siemens per meter. The number density of the electrons per cubic volume of the sodium metal is 2.54 × 1022 electrons per cc, and the drift velocity of these electrons is 53 cm/ V.s. These electrons behave as charges.

Is sodium a good conductor for electricity?

For a substance to be proclaimed a good conductor, it should allow the flow of electric flux. Let us see whether sodium is a good conductor for electricity or not.

Sodium is a good conductor of electricity because it allows the flow of current and electric flux through it. The sodium element has a single electron in its valence shell, resulting in an unstable atomic structure, thus giving away the electron that carries energy.

Why can’t sodium be used in electrical wires?

The material to be used in electrical wire should possess good thermal and corrosion resistivity. Let us discuss why sodium can’t be used in electrical wires.

Sodium cannot be used in electrical wires because it is a highly reactive element and reacts with oxygen in the air and catches fire forming a white-coloured sodium oxide. Moreover, the melting point of sodium is very low, so it cannot sustain high temperatures.

Also, the conductivity of sodium metal is not good compared to copper. As it has a quick response and reaction with the air, it is unsafe to use in electrical wires. Usually, copper and copper alloys are widely used in electrical wires.

Why is sodium a poor electric conductor than copper?

The conductivity of the metals depends upon the number of free electrons available. Let us illuminate why sodium is a better electrical conductor than copper.

Sodium is a poor electric conductor because the copper dissociates its valence electrons quickly compared to sodium due to the weak force of attraction between the protons and their valence electrons, and the number density of the electrons in copper substance is more than in sodium.

The sodium atom vigorously shares its valence electrons to form a bond with the atom requiring one or more electrons to have a stable electronic configuration, thus reducing the availability of free electrons.

Structure and Bonding of Sodium

The atomic structure and bonding depend upon the total valence electrons present to make the bonds. Let us discuss the structure and bonding of sodium below.

Structure

  • Sodium has a stable body-centered cubic structure at room temperature.
  • Sodium donates one electron from its outmost shell to form a cation having a positive charge.

Bonding

  • Sodium is highly reactive in the air to form sodium oxides.
  • Sodium reacts strongly with halides to give salts.

Is sodium a poor conductor of heat and why?

Most metals are good conductors of heat. Let us see whether sodium is a good or poor conductor of heat.

Sodium is a poor conductor of heat because the melting point of sodium is 97.72o C. It forms metallic bonding with other atoms giving accessibility to a few electrons to conduct heat flow through it.

Does sodium chloride conduct electricity?

Generally, compounds do not conduct electricity. Let us see whether sodium chloride conducts electricity or not.

The sodium chloride does not conduct electricity in its solid form as the charge of the combination is neutral due to the formation of covalent bonds between sodium and chlorine ions. Whereas in the aqueous form, sodium chloride conducts electricity.

Why does sodium chloride solution conduct electricity?

Most of the compounds might conduct electricity when dissolved in water. Let us discuss why sodium chloride solution is above to conduct electricity.

The sodium chloride solution can conduct electricity because upon mixing the salt/ NaCl in water, it dissociates into ions giving cation and anion with some drift velocity, thus conducting electricity.

Conclusion

We can conclude with this article that sodium chloride is a good conductor of heat and electricity in both solid and liquid states. It is a poor conductor of heat, and sodium compounds can conduct electricity in an aqueous form.

AKSHITA MAPARI

Hi, I’m Akshita Mapari. I have done M.Sc. in Physics. I have worked on projects like Numerical modeling of winds and waves during cyclone, Physics of toys and mechanized thrill machines in amusement park based on Classical Mechanics. I have pursued a course on Arduino and have accomplished some mini projects on Arduino UNO. I always like to explore new zones in the field of science. I personally believe that learning is more enthusiastic when learnt with creativity. Apart from this, I like to read, travel, strumming on guitar, identifying rocks and strata, photography and playing chess. Connect me on LinkedIn - linkedin.com/in/akshita-mapari-b38a68122

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