atomic no. 3, atomic wt. 6.940, metal, row 3, col 1A, val. 1, orbits 2-1

{Merck Index - © 1952 by Merck & Co., Inc.}

Lithium. Li; at. wt. 6.940; at. no. 3; valence 1. Discovered in 1817 by Arfvedson: Ann. Chim. Phys. [2] 10, 82 (1819). An element of the alkali-metal group; occurs in a number of minerals; spodumene, eucryptite, lepidolite, triphylite, contain from 3 to 10% lithium and are the most important sources of it. Prepn. of the metal by electrochemical processes: Guntz, Compt. rend. 117, 732 (1893); Ruff, Johannsen, Z. Electrochem. 12, 186 (1906); by reduction of the oxide with magnesium or aluminum: Warren, Chem. News 74, 6 (1896); Hanson, U.S. pat. 2,028,390 (1936).

Silvery-white metal; becomes yellowish on exposure to moist air. The values for the melting point vary from 178 to 186°; the most probable value, 180°: Ruff, Johannsen, Z. Electrochem. 12, 186 (1906); b760 1336 ±5°: Hartman, Schneider, Z. anorg. Chem. 180, 275 (1929). d. 0.534. Specific heat 0.9408. Reacts with water forming the hydroxide and hydrogen. Reacts vigorously with nitric acid; dissolves rapidly in dil. hydrochloric or sulfuric acid with evolution of hydrogen; slowly attacked by conc. sulfuric acid. Soluble in liquid ammonia, giving a blue soln. Unaffected by oxygen at room temp.; burns with a brilliant white flame when heated in air or in oxygen at 200°, forming the oxide, Li2O. Combines with hydrogen at a red heat; combines directly with nitrogen, halogens, or sulfur. Lithium and its compounds impart a carmine-red color to a bunsen flame.

Keep under mineral oil or other liquid free from oxygen or water.

Use: In manufacture of alloys, especially lithium-hardened bearing metals; as a "getter" in vacuum tubes.

Lithium was used as a table salt substitute.

Link to Chemical

New York - Presbyterian Hospital Lithium Fact Sheet

Wall Street Journal Article
A Little Lithium May Be Just What The Doctor Ordered

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