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6-12

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How Elements Form Compounds

In this video excerpt from NOVA: "Hunting the Elements," New York Times technology columnist David Pogue investigates chemical reactions involving sodium. Find out how the electron configuration of sodium, an alkali metal, makes it a highly reactive element. Meet chemist and author Theo Gray, who demonstrates two sodium reactions: a spectacular explosive reaction with water; and an exciting reaction with chlorine, a highly reactive halogen. Examine how sodium and chlorine atoms combine to form the compound sodium chloride (ordinary table salt).

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