Potassium valence electrons

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Potassium valence electrons
Potassium valence electrons | Image: Learnool

Potassium is classified as an alkali metal and possesses 1 valence electron. The valence electrons of potassium can be determined using two methods: first, by checking its location, like its group number, on the periodic table; and second, by using its electron configuration.


Using periodic table

Periodic table | Image: Learnool

Get the periodic table having the chemical elements marked on it as mentioned above.

Now mark the location of potassium on the periodic table.

Potassium location marked on periodic table | Image: Learnool

Next, mark the group number of potassium on the periodic table.

Potassium group number marked on periodic table | Image: Learnool

The valence electrons of each main-group element can be determined by the column in which it is located.

(i.e., all group 1 elements have 1 valence electron, all group 2 elements have 2 valence electrons, skip the transition metals… then, all group 13 elements have 3 valence electrons, all group 14 elements have 4 valence electrons, and so on up to group 18 elements)

Since potassium is in group 1, it has 1 valence electron.

Using electron configuration

  • First, write electron configuration of potassium

The electron configuration of potassium is [Ar] 4s1.

  • Second, find highest energy level in electron configuration
Green colored number represent highest energy level | Image: Learnool

In the above electron configuration, the highest energy level (4) is marked with green color.

  • Finally, count electrons of that energy level
Number circled with green color represent electrons | Image: Learnool

The 4th energy level contains 4s subshell and it has 1 electron. So potassium has a total of 1 valence electron.

Next: Calcium valence electrons


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