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Potassium


19

K

Potassium
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Potassium is a chemical element with symbol K (derived from Neo-Latin, kalium) and atomic number 19. It was first isolated from potash, the ashes of plants, from which its name is derived. In the Periodic table, potassium is one of seven elements in column (group) 1 (alkali metals):they all have a single valence electron in their outer electron shell, which they readily give up to create an atom with a positive charge - a cation, and combine with another neutral atom in the ground state to form an ion. In chemistry, potassium is a soft silvery alkali metal that appears as a shiny gray metal when dissolved in water. Potassium is the third most abundant element in the universe, after sodium and iron, but is less common than the other metals. It is found in the Earth's crust as a highly reactive metal, almost always as a dissolved species, and in the upper mantle as a solid. It is a highly reactive metal that readily forms compounds with other elements, and when it is combined with other elements in aqueous solution, forms oxides. Potassium is never found in nature as a free element, though it is found in minerals in sulfate minerals, and is the basis of some of the more reactive metals, such as krypton and xenon. Potassium is a metal that has the highest electrical conductivity of any metal, and is used in the production of superconductors