K is more than just a shorter way to say OK

The Basics

Symbol: K

Atomic Number: 19

Atomic Weight: 40 grams

Group: Alkai metals

Period: 4

Color: Silvery metallic

Classification; Metallic (Metal)


Before 1807, everyone assumed that potassium and sodium were the same thing, seeing no difference in them. Sir Humphrey Davy, an English man, was the one to discover it first, making it known to the world that sodium and potassium were in fact not the same thing. Before it was made known that potassium differed from sodium, it was used to make soap in the 18th century. It was mixed with carbon to make the soap. The symbol K, is from the Latin word kalium.

Where can you find potassium?

As I said up in history, in the 18th century it was used to make soap, but that's not the only thing potassium has ever been used for. There's such a thing called potassium salt that is used for plants and animals. The salt is needed for nerve and heart functioning. Another place you can find potassium, is in your body! We too need potassium for nerve and heart functioning, but we get our potassium from different places than plants and animals do. A diet with a normal amount of vegetables should provide enough potassium. Another place you can find it is in sea water, though it is only a small percentage compared to sodium.

More Information!

Here's some additonal facts for you to have besides the basics:

  • Potassium is a metal
  • It is the 7th most abundant element
  • Never found free in nature
  • Least dense metal
  • It is soft and can easily be cut with a knife
  • Silver in appearance when exposed to a new surface
  • Oxidises quickly when exposed to air
  • Must be stored in argon or another suitable mineral oil (as does all alkai metals)
  • Decomposes in water with the evolution of hyrdrogen
  • Usually catches flame when reacting from water
  • Potassium and its salt become a lilac color in flames

Potassium in your body....

It's a vital element in the human diet. Just like animals and plants, we need it for our nerves and hearts to function properly or at all. It's found inside cells fluids, also. If you eat a normal amount of vegetables, you should be getting the right amount of potassium for your body.

Potassium on Earth... or in it...

Potassium makes up 1.5% of the Earth's crust. The element is far too reactive to be found in nature undiluted besides in mines. Actually, it's quite abundant in mines in Germany, USA, and elsewhere. Found in seawater but in smaller amounts compared to sodium in the water.

Some properties

  • Melting point- 63. 38 C
  • Boiling point- 759 C
  • Density of solid- 856 kg m-
  • Color- silverly white
  • Metal
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