Potassium is the first element of the fourth period (row) in the periodic table.
The term potassium arises from a material called Potash.
The element has been in use for hundreds of years.
It is an alkali metal along with lithium, rubidium, sodium, cesium, and francium
It is a very active metal and never occurs free in nature and it always forms a compound with other elements.
Isotopes Of Potassium
Potassium usually has three isotopes, it goes by the name of potassium-39, 40 and 41. The potassium-40 is highly radioactive and can be found in rocks, plants, and animals. It is used to measure the age of objects. This isotope breaks down into an isotope of argon.
Uses Of Potassium
· It can be used as a medium of heat exchange and are used in nuclear power plants because of this reason
· People use the potassium salts as a constituent of fertilizer.
· It is one of the essential nutrients of the human body
· Potassium chloride is also used in injections.
· Potash can be used to make glass and soap etc
· Physical and Chemical Properties Of Potassium
· It is soft and shiny metal which has a melting point 63 degrees and the boiling point as 770 degrees.
· Potassium metal can float on water
· It reacts with water violently and gives hydrogen which can actually catch fire and may explode
· It can readily react with chlorine, fluorine, sulfur, nitrogen and phosphorous.
· It has a green vapour and lavender cloured flame
· It is ranked as the 7th most abundant element present in the earth’s crust.
· The element is always traced in combination with other elements.
· Once isolated, potassium turns into a malleable metal with a silver color profile.
· Potassium reacts with water violently and gives off hydrogen gas
Certain Facts About Potassium
· The symbol of Potassium (K) signifies the term Kalium.
· It is an ancient term used to label the element and has its roots in the term “alkali.”
· Like the other elements in the first column, potassium is an associate of the alkali group with cesium and sodium.
· It was the first metal to get isolated by electrolysis