Potassium

From Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is developing and not approved.
Main Article
Talk
Related Articles  [?]
Bibliography  [?]
External Links  [?]
Citable Version  [?]
Properties [?]
 
This editable Main Article is under development and not meant to be cited; by editing it you can help to improve it towards a future approved, citable version. These unapproved articles are subject to a disclaimer.
Potassium
39.0983(1)



  K
19
1s22s22p63s23p64s1 1,4,s
[ ? ] Alkali metal:
Properties:
Soft, silvery-white metal.
Uses:
Major use is in fertilizer industry.


Potassium is a chemical element, having the chemical symbol K. Its atomic number (the number of protons) is 19. It has a standard atomic weight of 39.0983 g•mol −1, and is typically found as a solid in its elemental form.

Potassium is considered to be a member of the "alkali metal" class of element. At a pressure of 101.325 kPa, it has a boiling point of 769 °C, and a melting point of 65.5 °C. It is a silvery-white, reactive metal. Potassium reacts violently with water, producing hydrogen.

Potassium in its cation form (K+) performs many different functions within the human body. K+ is essential for cellular function and maintaining homeostasis through action potentials.

Biochemistry

Potassium is a vital ion in cellular communication via the action potential.

Hyperkalemia occurs when there is too much potassium in the blood, and hypokalemia when there is a deficiency. Potassium levels in the body are balanced by levels of sodium.