Here is some information about the crystal structure of sodium.
|Space group:||Im-3m (Space group number: 229)|
|Structure:||bcc (body-centred cubic)|
|Cell parameters:||a /pm||b /pm||c /pm||α / °||β / °||γ / °|
|The body-centred cubic (bcc) structure is the most stable form for sodium metal at 298 K (25°C). Under normal conditions, all of the Group 1 (alakali metals) elements are based upon the bcc structure. The closest Na-Na separation is 372 pm implying a sodium metallic radius of 186 pm. This means that lithium is smaller than potassium. In the bcc lattice, every sodium atom is surrounded by eight other nearest neightbour sodium atoms organised into a cubic array. One way to visualize the bcc lattice is as two interlocked infinite cubic arrays of atoms.|
If you have a browser plug-in or other program which can read pdb (protein database format) file such as the Chime plug-in or the Chem3D Net plug-in then you can view the element structure interactively. For help in viewing the interactive images linked to from this this page, try this link.
If you have a virtual reality (VR) plug-in such as Cortona (make sure you get the VRML1 converter as well) or CosmoPlayer [Mac VRML applications and other VRML applications] then you can view interactive 3D images.
The "large image" link will give you a full window display of the interactive file and you will have to use your browser "back" button to get back to this page. The "small image" link will give you a smaller display of the file embedded within this page. The images were constructed using the CrystalMaker program.
E. Aruja and H. Perlitz, Z. Kristallogr. Kristallgeom. Kristallphys. Kristallchem., 1939, 100, 195.