Hannah, go to the storage room and get some water for our experiment.
Yes Mr Joyce.
Help! I'm shrinking!
I'm so thirsty after all that running in sport! I'll have a quick sip -
Oh - it's a Lithium atom! Lithium atoms have 3 electrons, with an electron configuration of 2, 1. That means there are 2 electrons in the inner electron shell, and 1 on the outer electron shell. Electrons on the outer shell are known as valence electrons (Lithium has 1 valence electron.)
Li is the symbol for Lithium. Lithium can be found in group 1 (alkali metals), period 2 of the periodic table. A group is a column in the periodic table (there are 18 groups). A period is a row in the periodic table (there are 7 periods).
There's the nucleus! That's where you find the protons and neutrons. The amount of protons tells us the atomic number of the atom. The atomic number also defines where the element is on the periodic table. Lithium has 3 protons, so its atomic number is 3.
You can find the mass number by adding the protons and neutrons together. As mentioned earlier, Lithium has 3 protons. Lithium has 4 neutrons. 3+4=7, so the mass number for Lithium is 7.
Lithium is often used to treat people with bipolar disorder, helping to stabilise mood swings caused by it.
Lithium was discovered in the mineral petalite in 1817 by Johan August Arfwedson.