Potassium

19
K
39.0983

Potassium.jpg (4081 bytes)
Bananas have potassium.

Properties

Symbol Name Atomic Number Atomic Weight Group Number
K Potassium 19 39.0983 1

Description

Standard State: Solid at 298 K
Color: Silvery white

Potassium was discovered in 1807 by Davy, who obtained it from caustic potash; this was the first metal isolated by electrolysis.  The metal is the seventh most abundant element and makes up about 2.4% of the earth's crust by weight. Potassium is an essential constituent for plant growth and is found in most soils. Potassium is never found free in nature, but is obtained by electrolysis of its hydroxides, much in the same manner as prepared by Davy.  It is the lightest known metal, and is soft and easily cut with a knife. Many Potassium salts are of utmost importance, including the hydroxide, nitrate, carbonate, chloride, bromide, iodide, cyanide, sulfate, chromate, and dichromate.