# Why do lithium and sodium corrode so easily?

I want to know what is the phenomenon and explanation behind this corrosion?

What is the reaction?

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Could you improve your question by including what you know and don't know about these metals and about corrosion? It would help use generate a better answer. –  Ben Norris Nov 8 '12 at 11:57

$$\ce{2Li + 2H2O -> 2LiOH + H2}$$ $$\ce{2LiOH + CO2 -> Li2CO3 + H2O}$$  $$\ce{4Li + O2 -> 2Li2O}$$ $$\ce{Li2O + CO2 -> Li2CO3}$$ $$\ce{6Li + N2 -> 2Li3N}$$ Lithium and sodium are reacting with the gases in the air; a destructive physical process.