Definitions for: Potassium


[n] a light soft silver-white metallic element of the alkali metal group; oxidizes rapidly in air and reacts violently with water; is abundant in nature in combined forms occurring in sea water and in carnallite and kainite and sylvite



Webster (1913) Definition: Po*tas"si*um, n. [NL. See Potassa, Potash.]
(Chem.)
An Alkali element, occurring abundantly but always combined,
as in the chloride, sulphate, carbonate, or silicate, in the
minerals sylvite, kainite, orthoclase, muscovite, etc. Atomic
weight 39.0. Symbol K (Kalium).

Note: It is reduced from the carbonate as a soft white metal,
lighter than water, which oxidizes with the greatest
readiness, and, to be preserved, must be kept under
liquid hydrocarbons, as naphtha or kerosene. Its
compounds are very important, being used in glass
making, soap making, in fertilizers, and in many drugs
and chemicals.

Potassium permanganate, the salt KMnO4, crystallizing in
dark red prisms having a greenish surface color, and
dissolving in water with a beautiful purple red color; --
used as an oxidizer and disinfectant. The name {chameleon
mineral} is applied to this salt and also to potassium
manganate.

Potassium bitartrate. See Cream of tartar, under Cream.

Synonyms: atomic number 19, K

See Also: brine, carnallite, kainite, langbeinite, metal, metallic element, saltwater, seawater, sylvine, sylvite

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