What is Sodium? Electron configuration, Atomic Number & Mass, Uses

In this article we are going to discuss the Sodium element. You will know Sodium electron configuration, atomic number & mass and also uses and physical & chemical properties of Sodium. So let’s start with-

What is Sodium and its symbol?

Sodium (Symbol Na) is an element of group I (Period III) of the periodic table of chemical elements. It has an atomic number of 11 and an atomic mass of 22.99

Sodium is found in almost all foods, but most of it is found in table salt, i.e. NaCl, consists of sodium and chlorine, sodium in salt 40%.

The name of sodium comes from English, "sodium" also which derives from "soda". 

Sodium symbol is Na, comes from natron, a mineral found in nature and containing sodium carbonate. Also in many languages ​​such as Dutch or German sodium is called natrium.

Below we have discussed who discovered the Sodium and what is the electronic configuration of Na. But before that you should know the properties:-

Properties of Sodium

Sodium Symbol


Atomic number of Sodium



Alkali metal







Volumic mass

0,968 g.cm-3





Atomic properties of Sodium

Sodium Atomic mass

22.98 у

Sodium Atomic radius

180 pm

Electronic configuration of Sodium

[Ne] 3s1

Electrons by energy level

2 | 8 | 1


Strong base

Physical properties of Sodium

Ordinary state


Fusion point

97,80 °C

Melting point of Sodium

883 °C

Who discovered Sodium?

Sodium has been used since ancient times in its compound forms. Sometimes as a medicine: in the Middle Ages it was used as an anti-pain, especially against headaches.

However, it was not discovered until 1807 by Sir Humphry Davy, by electrolysis of caustic soda. So we can see Sir Humphry Davy was the person who first discovered the sodium element.

He discovered many chemical elements such as- calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium as well as strontium. 

Electronic configuration of Sodium-

The electron structure/configuration is a very important topic for every chemical element. As you know that there are 11 electrons found in sodium element, so you can write Sodium electron configuration in two ways:

  • Long form of Sodium electron configuration: 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s1 
  • Electronic configuration of sodium in short form: [Ne] 3s1

The sodium atom (Na) and Si+3 , P+4 , S+5 , Cl+6 have the same electronic configuration.

Sodium has 11 electrons and its electron shells can be filled  as below:

  • 2 electrons on the 1s-sublevel (1s2)
  • 2 electrons on the 2s-sublevel (2s2)
  • 6 electrons in the 2p sublevel (2p6)
  • 1 electron at the 3s-sublevel (3s1)

Electronic configuration of Sodium Ions Na + is : 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s0 and  Na - is: 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2

What are the oxidation states of sodium?

The oxidation state is the conditional charge of an atom in a compound. Sodium atoms in compounds have oxidation states of 1, -1.

What is the valency of sodium?

The valence of Na (sodium) characterizes the ability of the Na atom to form chemical bonds. Sodium atoms in compounds exhibit valence I.

What are the quantum numbers of sodium?

Quantum numbers are determined by the last electron in the configuration; for the Na atom, these numbers have the value N = 3, L = 0, Ml = 0, Ms = ½

What is the Ionization energy of the sodium element?

The energy spent on the separation of an electron from an atom is called the ionization energy and is denoted by Eo. The Ionization energy of Na is- Eo = 495 kJ / mol.

Sodium Compounds

Type of





Baking soda



Sodium hydroxide

Now you've got an idea about sodium electron configuration and its symbol as well as atomic mass & number. So let’s continue with-

Physical and chemical properties of sodium

Sodium has the ability to be a very good electrical conductor but also to be a heat transfer fluid, which means that it is able to lower the melting temperature below 0 ° C.

It is also a very responsive element. On contact with water, it releases a lot of hydrogen and produces an explosion. In air and in its metallic form, it burns giving off a yellow flame.

Isotopes of sodium

There are 22 isotopes of sodium and their mass number varies from 18 to 37. Sodium 23 is the only stable isotope. Sodium is also called a monoisotopic element.

Sodium element has 21 radioactive isotopes. The radioisotope with the longest half-life is sodium 24 with a half-life of 15 hours, while the one with the smallest half-life is sodium 19 with a half-life of 40 ns (nano second).

Uses of Sodium (Na)

Sodium-based compounds

Sodium is present in many compounds. Most often they are there in the form of sodium ions with the formula Na+ . Here are a few of sodium base compounds :

  • Soda- Na+ + OH-  ;
  • Bleach ;
  • Sodium hydroxide- formula NaOH;
  • Sodium hypochlorite- NaClO;
  • Table salt, sodium chloride, with the formula NaCl.

Sodium in metallic form

Sodium is also frequently used in its metallic form in many fields, ranging from the pharmaceutical industry to painting, electronics, but also pesticides and cosmetics.

Uses of Sodium in paint

Sodium is part of the composition of the paint.

Sodium in our batteries

There are batteries in which you can find sodium, e.g. sodium-sulfur batteries.

Sodium in nuclear power plants

Due to its characteristics as a coolant, sodium is used in nuclear reactors in power plants. However, it does cause problems since sodium fires are very difficult to put out.

Other uses of sodium-

  • Apart from this Sodium combined with chlorine, with the formula NaCl, is the salting salt used to de-ice or remove snow from roads in winter. 
  • Earlier sodium was added to lead to provide an additive that was present in automotive gasoline. 
  • Sodium is used in the composition of sodium vapor discharge lamps.

Effects of sodium

Sodium plays an important role in the human body. Indeed, sodium ions are useful but too much exposure to them, which is the case during diets too high in salt in particular, sodium increases the risk of hypertension but can also be dangerous for the kidneys. Sodium can be considered as an ecotoxic element.

Indeed, a too strong presence of sodium in the soils can cause a salinization of the soils, which destroys them and is harmful for land and aquatic animals but also for plants. This happens in particular as a result of the flow of road salt in winter.

Know about more periodic elements- Aluminium, Gadolinium, Germanium, Neon, Oxygen, Potassium, Promethium, Selenium, Sodium, Terbium, Tellurium, Yttrium, Ytterbium, Zirconium

Related Articales


Download Our App (1Mb Only)
To get FREE PDF & Materials