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(Gr. lithos, stone) Discovered by Arfvedson in 1817. Lithium is the lightest of allmetals, with a density only about half that of water.
It does not occur free in nature; combined it is found in small units in nearly alligneous rocks and in the waters of many mineral springs. Lepidolite, spodumeme, petalite,and amblygonite are the more important minerals containing it.
Lithium is presently being recovered from brines of Searles Lake, in California, andfrom those in Nevada. Large deposits of quadramene are found in North Carolina. The metalis produced electrolytically from the fused chloride. Lithium is silvery in appearance,much like Na and K, other members of the alkali metal series. It reacts with water, butnot as vigorously as sodium. Lithium imparts a beautiful crimson color to a flame, butwhen the metal burns strongly, the flame is a dazzling white.