The element sodium has a silvery-white color. It is a very common element on earth and accounts for more than 2 percent of the planet's crust.
Sodium is found in many helpful forms. For example, sodium chloride is a necessary part of the human diet and it is put on roads during the winter to remove ice. Sodium carbonate, or washing soda, is a powerful household cleanser. As a liquid, sodium is sometimes used in nuclear reactors. Although compounds such as sodium chloride were regularly used in the ancient world, it was not until 1807 that Humphry Davy, a British scientist, isolated the element sodium using electrical current.