Potassium - Research Article from Chemical Elements

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 8 pages of information about Potassium.
This section contains 2,261 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)
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Symbol

K

Atomic Number

19

Atomic Mass

39.0983

Family

Group 1 (Ia) Alkali Metal Pronunciation

poe-TAS-see-um

Overview

Potassium is one of the alkali metals. The alkali metals are the elements that make up Group 1 (IA) of the periodic table. The periodic table is a chart that shows how chemical elements are related to one another. The alkali metals also include lithium, sodium, rubidium, cesium, and francium. They are among the most active metals.

Potassium is so active that it never occurs free in nature. It always occurs in compounds, combined with other elements. It was first prepared in pure form in 1807 by English chemist Sir Humphry Davy (1778-1829). Davy used a new method of isolating elements that he had invented, electrolysis. In electrolysis, an electric current is passed through a molten (melted) compound. The electrical current breaks the compound into its elements. (See sidebar on Davy in the calcium entry in...

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This section contains 2,261 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Potassium Encyclopedia Article
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Potassium from UXL. ©2005-2006 by U•X•L. U•X•L is an imprint of Thomson Gale, a division of Thomson Learning, Inc. All rights reserved.
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