Introduction to the question “What is the chemical symbol for potassium?”
The correct answer to this quiz is K.
Source: Library of Congress
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Answer to the question “What is the chemical symbol for potassium?“
Most elements on the periodic table are easily identifiable by their chemical symbols. The symbols for hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and helium, for example, are “H,” “C,” “O,” “N,” and “He,” respectively. Potassium, on the other hand, has the chemical symbol “K” — a letter that doesn’t appear anywhere in its English name.
So, where does the “K” come from? According to the Library of Congress, “K” stands for “kalium,” which stems from “alkali,” a derivation of the Arabic word for “plant ashes.” (Not coincidentally, “alkali” is also a name for the group of metals to which potassium belongs.) “Kalium” was proposed as an alternative name for the silver-white element we know as potassium, and many Germanic countries still use it today.
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