Potassium is an alkali metal that belongs to the group of periodic table elements with atomic number 19. It is also a soft, silvery-white metal that has low reactivity with other elements and chemical compounds. Potassium is one of the few elements that cannot form compounds with oxygen because it has a very high oxidation potential.
What is the Electron Configuration of Potassium?
The electron configuration of potassium is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s1. This means that the outermost energy level of potassium has four electrons in its outermost orbital. Potassium’s atomic number is 19, so it has 19 electrons total.
The Ground State Electron Configuration of Potassium
The electron configuration of potassium can be abbreviated in a few different ways. The most common way is to write it as [Ar]4s1. This means that the element potassium has one electron in its 4s orbital. However, it’s also possible to write the ground state configuration of potassium as [Ne]3s2 3p6 4s1 In this case, the numbers before the s and p orbitals indicate how many electrons are in those orbitals. The number after the s or p orbital indicates the total number of electrons in that subshell. So, in this case, there are two electrons in the 3s orbital, six electrons in the 3p orbital, and one electron in the 4s orbital.
The ground state configuration of potassium can also be written as 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s1. In this case, the f orbitals are empty and there are no electrons in the 5d orbitals. This is because potassium only has one valence electron. Therefore, all of its other electrons are located in its innermost energy levels.
The Excited Electron Configuration of Potassium
When potassium is in its excited state, its electron configuration is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s1. This means that the outermost orbital of potassium contains one electron. The next orbital contains two electrons, and so on. The total number of electrons in the excited state of potassium is 19.
Illustration of Aufbau Rule for Atomic Orbitals
The Aufbau rule is used to predict the electronic configuration of atoms. It states that electrons fill orbitals in order of increasing energy. The lowest energy orbital is filled first. For potassium, the atomic number is 19. This means that there are 19 electrons in the atom. The first orbital is the 1s orbital. This can hold a maximum of 2 electrons. The next orbital is the 2s orbital. This can hold a maximum of 2 electrons. The next orbitals are the 2p orbitals. These can each hold a maximum of 6 electrons.
The Aufbau rule predicts that the 1s orbital will be filled first, followed by the 2s and 2p orbitals. The full electron configuration for potassium is therefore: 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s1.