|Atomic mass||39.10 amu|
|Crystal structure||Body-Centered Cubic|
|Date of discovery||1807|
|Name of discoverer||Davy, Sir Humphrey|
|Name origin||From the Latin Kalium|
|Uses||important biological role, and used in numerous industrial processes|
|Obtained from||sylvite, sylvinite, carnallite|
Potassium is an element in the alkali metals class of the periodic table. It is so chemically active that it is never found free (in elemental form) in nature. In its elemental form, it reacts with water, forming potassium hydroxide and hydrogen gas, so violently that the hydrogen usually catches fire. It reacts with the halogens to make halides like potassium chloride.
Its existence as "potash" or "vegetable alkali" (potassium carbonate), "caustic potash" (potassium hydroxide), etc., had long been known, but it was not isolated as an element until 1807, by Sir Humphrey Davy. It was isolated by electrolysis of potassium hydroxide.
- ↑ Wile, Dr. Jay L. Exploring Creation With Physical Science. Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc. 1999, 2000
|Periodic Table of the Elements|