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what are the properties of sodium chloride?
Sodium chloride is an ionic compound composed of sodium ions that have lost an electron to become positively charged (Na+) and chloride ions that have gained an electron to become negatively charged (Cl-). It is arranged in an endlessly repeating giant three-dimensional lattice structure with strong electrostatic forces of attraction holding the oppositely charged ions together.
In a unit cell of NaCl there are four Na+ and 4 Cl- ions each. The larger ions are arranged in a face-centered cubic (fcc) arrangement, while the smaller ions are in a cubic close pack (ccp) structure.
It is a soft metal, with a low melting point and relative density of 0.97 at 20°C (68°F). It has a high electrical conductivity when dissolved in water or is in a molten state.
When it is heated with sodium vapors, it takes on a yellow colour because of an electric transition at the excited state of the sodium atom. It can also take on a purple or blue colour depending on its impurities.
Sodium chloride is used in many areas of everyday life. It is a key nutrient in healthcare, as a food preservative and to de-ice roads and sidewalks.
Sodium chloride has antimicrobial activity, preventing the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms in foods. It inhibits the growth of some pathogens, such as Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Staphylococcus aureus. In addition, it is a common additive to enhance the taste of food and is also a flavoring agent in sauces and seasonings.