Lithium | Definition, Chemical & Physical Properties, Uses & Facts

Lithium | Definition, Chemical & Physical Properties, Uses & Facts

Lithium: The Element of Light, Energy, and Mental Health


Lithium, a remarkable alkali metal, holds a unique place in the periodic table due to its diverse properties and applications. In this blog, we'll explore the definition, symbol, atomic number, atomic mass, chemical and physical properties, uses, and interesting facts about lithium.


Lithium, denoted by the chemical symbol Li, is a soft, silvery-white alkali metal known for its low density and high reactivity. It is the lightest metal and the least dense solid element under standard conditions.

Symbol, Atomic Number, and Atomic Mass:

Chemical Symbol: Li

Atomic Number: 3

Atomic Mass: The atomic mass of lithium is approximately 6.94 atomic mass units (u).

Chemical Properties:

1. Reactivity: Lithium is highly reactive, especially with water, where it reacts to produce lithium hydroxide and hydrogen gas. It readily forms compounds with other elements, showcasing its willingness to share electrons.

2. Electronegativity: With a low electronegativity, lithium tends to lose its outermost electron easily, making it a typical alkali metal behavior.

3. Oxidation State: Lithium typically exhibits an oxidation state of +1 in compounds, showcasing its tendency to lose one electron.

Physical Properties:

1. State at Standard Temperature and Pressure (STP): At standard temperature (20 degrees Celsius or 68 degrees Fahrenheit) and pressure (1 atmosphere), lithium is a solid metal.

2. Density: Lithium is notably low in density, making it float on water. Its density is around 0.534 grams per cubic centimeter.

3. Melting and Boiling Points: Lithium has a relatively low melting point of 180.5 degrees Celsius (356.9 degrees Fahrenheit) and a boiling point of 1,342 degrees Celsius (2,448 degrees Fahrenheit).


1. Batteries: Lithium-ion batteries, incorporating lithium compounds, are widely used in electronic devices, electric vehicles, and renewable energy storage due to their high energy density and long lifespan.

2. Medicine: Lithium carbonate is used as a mood-stabilizing drug in the treatment of bipolar disorder. It helps regulate mood swings and reduce the risk of manic episodes.

3. Alloys: Lithium is alloyed with aluminum, copper, and manganese to create lightweight and strong alloys for applications in aerospace and the automotive industry.

4. Greases and Lubricants: Lithium-based greases are commonly used in various industrial applications due to their high stability, resistance to corrosion, and wide operating temperature range.

Interesting Facts:

Lithium was discovered in 1817 by Swedish chemist Johan August Arfwedson, who isolated it from the mineral petalite.

It is the only alkali metal that does not form a diatomic gas at standard temperature.


From powering our electronic devices to stabilizing moods in medical treatments, lithium's versatility and unique properties make it an essential element in various aspects of modern life. As technology and healthcare continue to advance, lithium's significance is likely to grow, shaping the future of energy storage and mental health treatments.

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