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sodium chloride

Properties

Sodium chloride is readily soluble in water and insoluble or only slightly soluble in most other liquids. It forms small, transparent, colorless to white cubic crystals. Sodium chloride is odorless but has a characteristic taste. It is an ionic compound, being made up of equal numbers of positively charged sodium and negatively charged chloride ions. When it is melted or dissolved in water the ions can move about freely, so that dissolved or molten sodium chloride is a conductor of electricity; it can be decomposed into sodium and chlorine by passing an electrical current through it (see electrolysis).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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