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Lithium (IPA: /'l??i?m/, from Greek: lithos: stone, because it was discovered in petalite) is a chemical element with the symbol Li and atomic number 3. It is in group 1 of the periodic table, among the alkali metals and is the least dense solid element.
Lithium in its pure form does not occur naturally on Earth. It is a soft, silver white metal. Lithium reacts with oxygen from the air to form white lithium oxide (Li2O). It therefore has to be stored under the cover of oil to stop this oxidation reaction from occurring. It tarnishes and oxidizes very rapidly in air and water. Lithium metal is used primarily in heat-transfer applications, batteries (mainly cell phone and camera batteries), household appliances such as toasters and microwaves, and in high performance alloys such as those used for aircraft construction. Lithium compounds are used pharmacologically as a class of mood stabilizing drugs, a neurological effect of the lithium ion Li+.
The complete, up-to-date and editable article about Lithium can be found at Wikipedia: Lithium