When Augustus Arfvedson, a Swedish student at Upsala, presented to his friend and teacher, the celebrated Berzelius, the new substance that he had separated from the rare granitic mineral petalite, found at the mines of Utoë in Sweden and which he had determined to be an alkali, he requested Berzelius to suggest a suitable name for it. After much thought, they finally decided to call it lithium (Greek, lithos, a stone), because it was the first alkali that had been obtained directly from the mineral kingdom.
Lithium, symbol Li, the elementary substance, appears as a silver white, soft metal, whose specific gravity is only 0.59 or about six-tenths the weight of water; it is consequently the lightest of known metals. Its chemical equivalent is 7, and its atomic volume 11.9. In the spectrum it is recognized by a beautiful bright red line.
While lithium does not occur free in nature,