Lithium

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Lithium, symbol "Li", is only the third element on the periodic table, has three protons, three neutrons, three electrons(atomic weight of 6). However having three electrons means that the first electron shell is full, however the second shell, which would like to have (number of shell squared times two, (2^2)2=8) eight electrons, is stuck with only that one extra, so it's pretty desperate for more. Because of this, lithium (and the other "alkali" metals below it) are all very reactive, and all will catch fire if submerged in water. Physically, lithium is an extremely light, extremely soft metal, you can cut it with a knife like cheese it's so soft, and it has a typical shiney grey color of most metals, however lithium will quickly corrode in air to a dull dark grey, becoming lithium nitrate (LiNO3) by grabbing nitrogen and oxygen from the air.

Lithium can be mined in the form of natural lithium carbonates, and pure lithium metal is extremely valuable for manufacturing batteries(which, because of the weight of lithium, are very light batteries). My source of lithium so far is the aformentioned batteries, although I would NOT suggest trying this at home as lithium can catch fire quite easily and violently.

Due to it's reactivity, I store my samples under mineral oil, which is very unreactive.

These are my samples!

Lithium

This lithium foil is extremely thin, and if you actually handle it it's amazing how soft it is. Most of the dark color you see is lithium nitride, LiN3, because I couldn't put it in oil fast enough to stop it reacting with air, however the lighter part is close to what un-tarnished lithium looks like.

Date added(year-month-day):20110719, sample number:3

Tags(Elements in sample):lithium

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