K Atomic Number


Chemical properties of potassium - Health effects of potassium - Environmental effects of potassium

  • The atomic number for potassium is 19, which means there are 19 protons in the nucleus. In a neutral atom, the number of electrons is equal to the number of protons. Therefore we can say that K also has 19 electrons. Each orbital holds two electrons.
  • The atomic mass of an element is equal to. Its mass number b. Its atomic number c. One-twelfth of the mass of a carbon-12 atom d. A weighted average mass of all of the naturally occurring isotopes of the element e. The average mass of all of the naturally occurring isotopes of the element.
  • Potassium-41 Isotope Applications: Potassium-41 isotope (K-41 isotope, 41K isotope). Potassium-41 isotope is used for Potassium-42 (K-42 isotope, 42K isotope) radionuclide (radioisotope) production (can be used in life science for healthcare and medical applications and pharmaceuticals industries).
  • Sep 15, 2019 The most abundant isotope is K-39, which accounts for 93.3% of the element. The atomic weight of potassium is 39.0983. Potassium metal has a density of 0.89 grams per cubic centimeter. The melting point of potassium is 63.4 degrees C or 336.5 degrees K and its boiling point is 765.6 degrees C or 1038.7 degrees K.

Alexandra knows that the atomic number of the element potassium, K, is 19. She also knows that one particular isotope of potassium has a mass number of 39. How many neutrons can be found in the nucleus of this isotope of potassium?

Potassium Atomic Mass

Atomic number


Atomic mass

39.0983 g.mol -1

Electronegativity according to Pauling



0.86 g.cm -3 at 0 °C

Melting point

63.2 °C

Boiling point

760 °C

Vanderwaals radius

0.235 nm

Ionic radius

0.133 (+1)

How to clear ram on windows. Isotopes


Electronic shell

[ Ar ] 4s1

Energy of first ionisation

418.6 kJ.mol -1

Discovered by

Sir Davy in 1808


The name is derived from the english word potash. The chemical symbol K comes from kalium, the Mediaeval Latin for potash, which may have derived from the arabic word qali, meaning alkali.
Potassium is a soft, silvery-white metal, member of the alkali group of the periodic chart. Potassium is silvery when first cut but it oxidizes rapidly in air and tarnishes within minutes, so it is generally stored under oil or grease. It is light enough to float into water with which it reacts instantly to release hydrogen, which burns with a lilac flame.

The chemistry of potassium is almost etirely that of the potassium ion, K+.


Most potassium (95 %) goes into fertilizers and the rest goes mainly into making potassium hydroxide (KOH), by the electrolysis of potassium chloride solution, and then converting this to potassium carbonate (K2CO3). Potassium carbonate goes into glass manufacture, expecially the glass used to make televisions, while potassium hydroxide is used to make liquid soaps and detergents. A little potassium chloride goes into pharmaceuticals, medical drips and saline injections.
Other potassium salts are used in baking, photography and tanning leather, and to make iodize salts. In all cases it is the negative anion, not the potassium, which is the key to their use.

Potassium in the environment

Most potassium occurs in the Earth's crust as minerals, such as feldspars and clays. Potassium is leached from these by weathering, which explains why there is quite a lot of this element in the sea (0.75 g/liter).
Minerals mined for their potassium are pinkish and sylvite, carnallite and alunite. The main mining area used to be Germany, which had a monopoly of potassium before the first World War. Today most potassium minerals come from Canada, USA and Chile. The world production of potassim ores is about 50 million tonnes, and reserves are vast (more than 10 billion tonnes).
Potassium is a key plant element. Although it is soluble in water, little is lost from undisturbed soils because as it is released from dead plants and animal excrements, it quickly become strongly bound to clay particles, and it is retained ready to be readsorbed by the roots of other plants.

Health effects of potassium

Potassium can be found in vegetables, fruit, potatoes, meat, bread, milk and nuts. It plays an important role in the physical fluid system of humans and it assists nerve functions. Potassium, as the ion K+, concnetrate inside cells, and 95% of the body's potassium is so located. When our kidneys are somehow malfunctioning an accumulation of potassium will consist. This can lead to disturbing heartbeats.

Potassium can effect you when breathed in. Inhalation of dust or mists can irritate the eyes, nose, throat, lungs with sneezing, coughing and sore throat. Higher exposures may cause a build up of fluid in the lungs, this can cause death. Skin and eye contact can cause severe burns leading to permanent damage.

Environmental effects of potassium

Together with nitrogen and phosphorous, potassium is one of the essential macrominerals for plant survival. Its presence is of great importance for soil health, plant growth and animal nutrition. Its primary function in the plant is its role in the maintenance of osmotic pressure and cell size, thereby influencing photosynthesis and energy production as well as stomatal opening and carbon dioxide supply, plant turgor and translocation of nutrients. As such, the element is required in relatively large proportions by the growing plant.

The consequences of low potassium levels are apparent in a variety of symptoms: restricted growth, reduced flowering, lower yields and lower quality produce.
High water soluble levels of potassium cause damage to germinating seedlings, inhibits the uptake of other minerals and reduces the quality of the crop.

Check out our potassium in water page

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In the modern periodic table, the elements are listed in order of increasing atomic number. The atomic number is the number of protons in the nucleus of an atom. The number of protons define the identity of an element (i.e., an element with 6 protons is a carbon atom, no matter how many neutrons may be present). The number of protons determines how many electrons surround the nucleus, and it is the arrangement of these electrons that determines most of the chemical behavior of an element.

In a periodic table arranged in order of increasing atomic number, elements having similar chemical properties naturally line up in the same column (group). For instance, all of the elements in Group 1A are relatively soft metals, react violently with water, and form 1+ charges; all of the elements in Group 8A are unreactive, monatomic gases at room temperature, etc. In other words, there is a periodic repetition of the properties of the chemical elements with increasing mass.

K Atomic Number

In the original periodic table published by Dimitri Mendeleev in 1869, the elements were arranged according to increasing atomic mass— at that time, the nucleus had not yet been discovered, and there was no understanding at all of the interior structure of the atom, so atomic mass was the only guide to use. Once the structure of the nucleus was understood, it became clear that it was the atomic number that governed the properties of the elements.