A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituents are arranged in a highly ordered microscopic structure, forming a crystal lattice that extends in all directions. In addition, macroscopic single crystals are usually identifiable by their geometrical shape, the scientific study of crystals and crystal formation is known as crystallography. The process of crystal formation via mechanisms of crystal growth is called crystallization or solidification, the word crystal derives from the Ancient Greek word κρύσταλλος, meaning both ice and rock crystal, from κρύος, icy cold, frost. Examples of large crystals include snowflakes and table salt, most inorganic solids are not crystals but polycrystals, i. e. many microscopic crystals fused together into a single solid. Examples of polycrystals include most metals, ceramics, a third category of solids is amorphous solids, where the atoms have no periodic structure whatsoever. Examples of amorphous solids include glass and many plastics, Crystals are often used in pseudoscientific practices such as crystal therapy, along with gemstones, are sometimes associated with spellwork in Wiccan beliefs and related religious movements.
The scientific definition of a crystal is based on the arrangement of atoms inside it. A crystal is a solid where the form a periodic arrangement. For example, when liquid water starts freezing, the change begins with small ice crystals that grow until they fuse. Most macroscopic inorganic solids are polycrystalline, including almost all metals, ice, solids that are neither crystalline nor polycrystalline, such as glass, are called amorphous solids, called glassy, vitreous, or noncrystalline. These have no periodic order, even microscopically, there are distinct differences between crystalline solids and amorphous solids, most notably, the process of forming a glass does not release the latent heat of fusion, but forming a crystal does. A crystal structure is characterized by its cell, a small imaginary box containing one or more atoms in a specific spatial arrangement. The unit cells are stacked in three-dimensional space to form the crystal, the symmetry of a crystal is constrained by the requirement that the unit cells stack perfectly with no gaps.
There are 219 possible crystal symmetries, called space groups. These are grouped into 7 crystal systems, such as cubic crystal system or hexagonal crystal system, Crystals are commonly recognized by their shape, consisting of flat faces with sharp angles. Euhedral crystals are those with obvious, well-formed flat faces, anhedral crystals do not, usually because the crystal is one grain in a polycrystalline solid. The flat faces of a crystal are oriented in a specific way relative to the underlying atomic arrangement of the crystal. This occurs because some surface orientations are more stable than others, as a crystal grows, new atoms attach easily to the rougher and less stable parts of the surface, but less easily to the flat, stable surfaces
Anorthosite is a phaneritic, intrusive igneous rock characterized by a predominance of plagioclase feldspar, and a minimal mafic component. Pyroxene, ilmenite and olivine are the minerals most commonly present. Anorthosite on Earth can be divided into two types, Proterozoic anorthosite and Archean anorthosite and these two types of anorthosite have different modes of occurrence, appear to be restricted to different periods in Earths history, and are thought to have had different origins. Lunar anorthosites constitute the areas of the Moons surface and have been the subject of much research. Proterozoic anorthosites were emplaced during the Proterozoic Eon, Anorthosite plutons occur in a wide range of sizes. Some smaller plutons, exemplified by many bodies in the U. S. and Harris in Scotland. Larger plutons, like the Mt. Lister Anorthosite, in northern Labrador, many Proterozoic anorthosites occur in spatial association with other highly distinctive, contemporaneous rock types. These rock types include iron-rich diorite and norite, leucocratic mafic rocks such as leucotroctolite and leuconorite, large volumes of ultramafic rocks are not found in association with Proterozoic anorthosites.
Occurrences of Proterozoic anorthosites are commonly referred to as massifs, there is some question as to what name would best describe any occurrence of anorthosite together with the rock types mentioned above. Batholith is used to such occurrences for the remainder of this article. The areal extent of anorthosite batholiths ranges from small to nearly 20,000 km2, in the instance of the Nain Plutonic Suite in northern Labrador. Major occurrences of Proterozoic anorthosite are found in the southwest U. S. the Appalachian Mountains, eastern Canada, across southern Scandinavia and eastern Europe. Mapped onto the Pangaean continental configuration of that eon, these occurrences are all contained in a single straight belt, the conditions and constraints of this pattern of origin and distribution are not clear. However, see the Origins section below, Anorthosites are common in layered intrusions. Anorthosite in these layered intrusions can form as cumulate layers in the parts of the intrusive complex or as later-stage intrusions into the layered intrusion complex.
Since they are composed of plagioclase feldspar, most of Proterozoic anorthosites appear, in outcrop. Individual plagioclase crystals may be black, blue, or grey, the feldspar variety labradorite is commonly present in anorthosites. Mineralogically, labradorite is a term for any calcium-rich plagioclase feldspar containing 50–70 molecular percent anorthite
Intrusive rock is formed when magma crystallizes and solidifies underground to form intrusions, for example plutons, dikes, sills and volcanic necks. Intrusive rock forms within Earths crust from the crystallization of magma, magma slowly pushes up from deep within the earth into any cracks or spaces it can find, sometimes pushing existing country rock out of the way, a process that can take millions of years. As the magma slowly cools into a solid, the different parts of the magma crystallize into rocks, many mountain ranges, such as the Sierra Nevada in California, are formed mostly from large granite intrusions, see Sierra Nevada Batholith. Intrusions are one of the two ways igneous rock can form, the other is extrusive rock, that is, an eruption or similar event. Technically speaking, an intrusion is any formation of igneous rock, rock formed from magma that cools. In contrast, an extrusion consists of rock, rock formed above the surface of the crust. Large bodies of magma that solidify underground before they reach the surface of the crust are called plutons, plutonic rocks form 7% of the Earths current land surface.
Coarse-grained intrusive igneous rocks form at depth within the earth are called abyssal while those that form near the surface are called subvolcanic or hypabyssal. The term intrusive suite seems near synonymous, there is, however, a modest difference, An intrusive suite is a group of plutons related in time and space. Intrusions vary widely, from mountain-range-sized batholiths to thin veinlike fracture fillings of aplite or pegmatite, when exposed by erosion, such batholiths may occupy large areas. A well-known example of an intrusion is Devils Tower, another is Shiprock, New Mexico, USA. Be the pluton is large, it may be called a batholith or a stock, Intrusive rocks are characterized by large crystal sizes, and as the individual crystals are visible, the rock is called phaneritic. This is as the magma cools underground, and while cooling may be fast or slow, cooling is slower than on the surface, if it runs parallel to rock layers, it is called a sill. If an intrusion makes rocks above rise to form a dome, as heat dissipation is slow, and as the rock is under pressure, crystals form, and no vitreous rapidly chilled matter is present.
The intrusions did not flow while solidifying, hence do not show lines, contained gases could not escape through the thick strata, thus form cavities, which can often be observed. Because their crystals are of the rough equal size, these rocks are said to be equigranular, there is typically no distinction between a first generation of large well-shaped crystals and a fine-grained ground-mass. Earlier crystals originated at a time when most of the rock was still liquid and are more or less perfect, crystals are less regular in shape because they were compelled to occupy the spaces left between the already-formed crystals. The former case is said to be idiomorphic, the latter is xenomorphic, there are many other characteristics that serve to distinguish the members of these two groups
Minas Gerais is a state in the north of Southeastern Brazil. It ranks as the second most populous, the third by gross domestic product, Minas Gerais is the state with the largest number of Brazilian presidents. With an area of 586,528 square kilometres —larger than Metropolitan France—it is the fourth most extensive state in Brazil. In the south, the tourist points are the mineral spas, such as Caxambu, Lambari, São Lourenço, Poços de Caldas, São Thomé das Letras, Monte Verde. The landscape of the State is marked by mountains, valleys, in the Serra do Cipó, Sete Lagoas and Lagoa Santa, the caves and waterfalls are the attractions. Some of Brazils most famous caverns are located there, in recent years, the state has emerged as one of the largest economic forces of Brazil, exploring its great economic potential. Two interpretations are given for the origin of the name Minas Gerais and it comes from Minas dos Matos Gerais, the former name of the colonial province. Another explanation is that this ignores the two large geographical spaces which conformed the state in its history, the region of the mines, and these corresponded to the areas of Sertão which were farther and hard to access from the mining spots.
The confusion comes from the fact that the term Gerais is taken as an adjective to Minas in the first version, Minas Gerais is in the north of the southeastern subdivision of Brasil, which contains the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo. It borders on Bahia, Goiás, Mato Grosso do Sul, the states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and it shares a short boundary with the Distrito Federal. Minas Gerais is situated between 14°1358 and 22°5400 S latitude and between 39°5132 and 51°0235 W longitude and it is larger in area than Metropolitan France or Spain. Minas Gerais features some of the longest rivers in Brazil, most notably the São Francisco, the Paraná and to a lesser extent, the state holds many hydroelectric power plants, including Furnas. The most notable one is the Pico da Bandeira, the third highest mountain in Brazil at 2890 m, the state has huge reserves of iron and sizeable reserves of gold and gemstones, including emerald and aquamarine mines. Emeralds found in location are comparable to the best Colombia-origin emeralds.
Each region of the state has a character, geographically. The central and eastern area of the state is hilly and rocky, around Lagoa Santa and Sete Lagoas a typical Karst topography with caves and lakes is found. Some of the mountains are almost entirely iron ore, which led to extensive mining, recent advances in environmental policy helped to put limits to mining. Vale do Aços largest cities are Ipatinga, Coronel Fabriciano and Timóteo, now that mining is restricted large areas of forest are being removed for timber, charcoal and to clear land for cattle ranching
Earth, otherwise known as the World, or the Globe, is the third planet from the Sun and the only object in the Universe known to harbor life. It is the densest planet in the Solar System and the largest of the four terrestrial planets, according to radiometric dating and other sources of evidence, Earth formed about 4.54 billion years ago. Earths gravity interacts with objects in space, especially the Sun. During one orbit around the Sun, Earth rotates about its axis over 365 times, Earths axis of rotation is tilted, producing seasonal variations on the planets surface. The gravitational interaction between the Earth and Moon causes ocean tides, stabilizes the Earths orientation on its axis, Earths lithosphere is divided into several rigid tectonic plates that migrate across the surface over periods of many millions of years. About 71% of Earths surface is covered with water, mostly by its oceans, the remaining 29% is land consisting of continents and islands that together have many lakes and other sources of water that contribute to the hydrosphere.
The majority of Earths polar regions are covered in ice, including the Antarctic ice sheet, Earths interior remains active with a solid iron inner core, a liquid outer core that generates the Earths magnetic field, and a convecting mantle that drives plate tectonics. Within the first billion years of Earths history, life appeared in the oceans and began to affect the Earths atmosphere and surface, some geological evidence indicates that life may have arisen as much as 4.1 billion years ago. Since then, the combination of Earths distance from the Sun, physical properties, in the history of the Earth, biodiversity has gone through long periods of expansion, occasionally punctuated by mass extinction events. Over 99% of all species that lived on Earth are extinct. Estimates of the number of species on Earth today vary widely, over 7.4 billion humans live on Earth and depend on its biosphere and minerals for their survival. Humans have developed diverse societies and cultures, the world has about 200 sovereign states, the modern English word Earth developed from a wide variety of Middle English forms, which derived from an Old English noun most often spelled eorðe.
It has cognates in every Germanic language, and their proto-Germanic root has been reconstructed as *erþō, earth was written in lowercase, and from early Middle English, its definite sense as the globe was expressed as the earth. By early Modern English, many nouns were capitalized, and the became the Earth. More recently, the name is simply given as Earth. House styles now vary, Oxford spelling recognizes the lowercase form as the most common, another convention capitalizes Earth when appearing as a name but writes it in lowercase when preceded by the. It almost always appears in lowercase in colloquial expressions such as what on earth are you doing, the oldest material found in the Solar System is dated to 4. 5672±0.0006 billion years ago. By 4. 54±0.04 Gya the primordial Earth had formed, the formation and evolution of Solar System bodies occurred along with the Sun
Plagioclase is a series of tectosilicate minerals within the feldspar group. Rather than referring to a mineral with a specific chemical composition, plagioclase is a continuous solid solution series. This was first shown by the German mineralogist Johann Friedrich Christian Hessel in 1826, the series ranges from albite to anorthite endmembers, where sodium and calcium atoms can substitute for each other in the minerals crystal lattice structure. Plagioclase in hand samples is often identified by its polysynthetic crystal twinning or record-groove effect, plagioclase is a major constituent mineral in the Earths crust, and is consequently an important diagnostic tool in petrology for identifying the composition and evolution of igneous rocks. Plagioclase is a constituent of rock in the highlands of the Earths moon. Analysis of thermal emission spectra from the surface of Mars suggests that plagioclase is the most abundant mineral in the crust of Mars, the extinction angle is an optical characteristic and varies with the albite fraction.
There are several named plagioclase feldspars that fall between albite and anorthite in the series, the following table shows their compositions in terms of constituent anorthite and albite percentages. Anorthite was named by Gustav Rose in 1823 from the Ancient Greek meaning oblique, anorthite is a comparatively rare mineral but occurs in the basic plutonic rocks of some orogenic calc-alkaline suites. Albite is named from the Latin albus, in reference to its pure white color. It is a common and important rock-making mineral associated with the more acid rock types and in pegmatite dikes, often with rarer minerals like tourmaline. The intermediate members of the group are very similar to each other. Bytownite, named after the name for Ottawa, Canada, is a rare mineral occasionally found in more basic rocks. Labradorite is the characteristic feldspar of the basic rock types such as diorite, andesite. Labradorite frequently shows an iridescent display of colors due to light refracting within the lamellae of the crystal and it is named after Labrador, where it is a constituent of the intrusive igneous rock anorthosite which is composed almost entirely of plagioclase.
A variety of known as spectrolite is found in Finland. Andesine is a mineral of rocks such as diorite which contain a moderate amount of silica. Oligoclase is common in granite, syenite and gneiss and it is a frequent associate of orthoclase. The name oligoclase is derived from the Greek for little and fracture, sunstone is mainly oligoclase with flakes of hematite
Calcium is a chemical element with symbol Ca and atomic number 20. Calcium is a soft grayish-yellow alkaline earth metal, fifth-most-abundant element by mass in the Earths crust, the ion Ca2+ is the fifth-most-abundant dissolved ion in seawater by both molarity and mass, after sodium, chloride and sulfate. Free calcium metal is too reactive to occur in nature, Calcium is produced in supernova nucleosynthesis. Calcium is a trace element in living organisms. It is the most abundant metal by mass in animals, and it is an important constituent of bone, teeth. In cell biology, the movement of the calcium ion into, Calcium carbonate and calcium citrate are often taken as dietary supplements. Calcium is on the World Health Organizations List of Essential Medicines, Calcium has a wide variety of applications, almost all of which are associated with calcium compounds and salts. Calcium metal is used as a deoxidizer and decarbonizer for production of ferrous and nonferrous alloys. In steelmaking and production of iron, Ca reacts with oxygen, Calcium carbonate is used in manufacturing cement and mortar, lime and aids in production in the glass industry.
It has chemical and optical uses as mineral specimens in toothpastes, Calcium hydroxide solution is used to detect the presence of carbon dioxide in a gas sample bubbled through a solution. The solution turns cloudy where CO2 is present, Calcium arsenate is used in insecticides. Calcium carbide is used to make acetylene gas and various plastics, Calcium chloride is used in ice removal and dust control on dirt roads, as a conditioner for concrete, as an additive in canned tomatoes, and to provide body for automobile tires. Calcium citrate is used as a food preservative, Calcium cyclamate is used as a sweetening agent in several countries. In the United States, it has been outlawed as a suspected carcinogen, Calcium gluconate is used as a food additive and in vitamin pills. Calcium hypochlorite is used as a swimming pool disinfectant, as an agent, as an ingredient in deodorant. Calcium permanganate is used in rocket propellant, textile production, as a water sterilizing agent. Calcium phosphate is used as a supplement for animal feed, fertilizer, in production for dough and yeast products, in the manufacture of glass.
Calcium phosphide is used in fireworks, torpedoes, Calcium sulfate is used as common blackboard chalk, as well as, in its hemihydrate form, Plaster of Paris
The density, or more precisely, the volumetric mass density, of a substance is its mass per unit volume. The symbol most often used for density is ρ, although the Latin letter D can be used. Mathematically, density is defined as mass divided by volume, ρ = m V, where ρ is the density, m is the mass, and V is the volume. In some cases, density is defined as its weight per unit volume. For a pure substance the density has the numerical value as its mass concentration. Different materials usually have different densities, and density may be relevant to buoyancy, purity and iridium are the densest known elements at standard conditions for temperature and pressure but certain chemical compounds may be denser. Thus a relative density less than one means that the floats in water. The density of a material varies with temperature and pressure and this variation is typically small for solids and liquids but much greater for gases. Increasing the pressure on an object decreases the volume of the object, increasing the temperature of a substance decreases its density by increasing its volume.
In most materials, heating the bottom of a results in convection of the heat from the bottom to the top. This causes it to rise relative to more dense unheated material, the reciprocal of the density of a substance is occasionally called its specific volume, a term sometimes used in thermodynamics. Density is a property in that increasing the amount of a substance does not increase its density. Archimedes knew that the irregularly shaped wreath could be crushed into a cube whose volume could be calculated easily and compared with the mass, upon this discovery, he leapt from his bath and ran naked through the streets shouting, Eureka. As a result, the term eureka entered common parlance and is used today to indicate a moment of enlightenment, the story first appeared in written form in Vitruvius books of architecture, two centuries after it supposedly took place. Some scholars have doubted the accuracy of this tale, saying among other things that the method would have required precise measurements that would have been difficult to make at the time, from the equation for density, mass density has units of mass divided by volume.
As there are units of mass and volume covering many different magnitudes there are a large number of units for mass density in use. The SI unit of kilogram per metre and the cgs unit of gram per cubic centimetre are probably the most commonly used units for density.1,000 kg/m3 equals 1 g/cm3. In industry, other larger or smaller units of mass and or volume are often more practical, see below for a list of some of the most common units of density
In crystallography, the terms crystal system, crystal family and lattice system each refer to one of several classes of space groups, point groups or crystals. Informally, two crystals are in the crystal system if they have similar symmetries, though there are many exceptions to this. Space groups and crystals are divided into seven crystal systems according to their point groups, five of the crystal systems are essentially the same as five of the lattice systems, but the hexagonal and trigonal crystal systems differ from the hexagonal and rhombohedral lattice systems. The six crystal families are formed by combining the hexagonal and trigonal crystal systems into one hexagonal family, a lattice system is a class of lattices with the same set of lattice point groups, which are subgroups of the arithmetic crystal classes. The 14 Bravais lattices are grouped into seven lattice systems, monoclinic, tetragonal, hexagonal, in a crystal system, a set of point groups and their corresponding space groups are assigned to a lattice system.
Of the 32 point groups that exist in three dimensions, most are assigned to only one system, in which case both the crystal and lattice systems have the same name. However, five point groups are assigned to two systems and hexagonal, because both exhibit threefold rotational symmetry. These point groups are assigned to the crystal system. In total there are seven crystal systems, monoclinic, tetragonal, hexagonal, a crystal family is determined by lattices and point groups. It is formed by combining crystal systems which have space groups assigned to a lattice system. In three dimensions, the families and systems are identical, except the hexagonal and trigonal crystal systems. In total there are six families, monoclinic, tetragonal, hexagonal. Spaces with less than three dimensions have the number of crystal systems, crystal families and lattice systems. In one-dimensional space, there is one crystal system, in 2D space, there are four crystal systems, rectangular and hexagonal. The relation between three-dimensional crystal families, crystal systems and lattice systems is shown in the table, Note.
To avoid confusion of terminology, the term trigonal lattice is not used, if the original structure and inverted structure are identical, the structure is centrosymmetric. Still, even for non-centrosymmetric case, inverted structure in some cases can be rotated to align with the original structure and this is the case of non-centrosymmetric achiral structure. If the inverted structure cannot be rotated to align with the structure, the structure is chiral
Cleavage, in mineralogy, is the tendency of crystalline materials to split along definite crystallographic structural planes. Cleavage forms parallel to planes, Basal or pinacoidal cleavage occurs when there is only one cleavage plane. Mica has basal cleavage, this is why mica can be peeled into thin sheets, cubic cleavage occurs on when there are three cleavage planes intersecting at 90 degrees. Halite has cubic cleavage, and therefore, when halite crystals are broken, octahedral cleavage occurs when there are four cleavage planes in a crystal. Octahedral cleavage is common for semiconductors, rhombohedral cleavage occurs when there are three cleavage planes intersecting at angles that are not 90 degrees. Prismatic cleavage occurs when there are two planes in a crystal. Dodecahedral cleavage occurs when there are six cleavage planes in a crystal, crystal parting occurs when minerals break along planes of structural weakness due to external stress or along twin composition planes. Parting breaks are very similar in appearance to cleavage, but only due to stress.
Examples include magnetite which shows octahedral parting, the parting of corundum. Cleavage is a property traditionally used in mineral identification, both in hand specimen and microscopic examination of rock and mineral studies. As an example, the angles between the cleavage planes for the pyroxenes and the amphiboles are diagnostic. Crystal cleavage is of importance in the electronics industry and in the cutting of gemstones. Precious stones are generally cleaved by impact, as in diamond cutting, synthetic single crystals of semiconductor materials are generally sold as thin wafers which are much easier to cleave. Elemental semiconductors are diamond cubic, a group for which octahedral cleavage is observed. This means that some orientations of wafer allow near-perfect rectangles to be cleaved, most other commercial semiconductors can be made in the related zinc blende structure, with similar cleavage planes. Cleavage Mineral galleries, Mineral properties – Cleavage
An ore is a type of rock that contains sufficient minerals with important elements including metals that can be economically extracted from the rock. The ores are extracted from the earth through mining, they are refined to extract the valuable element. The grade or concentration of an ore mineral, or metal, as well as its form of occurrence, will directly affect the costs associated with mining the ore. The cost of extraction must thus be weighed against the value contained in the rock to determine what ore can be processed. Metal ores are generally oxides, silicates, or native metals that are not commonly concentrated in the Earths crust, the ores must be processed to extract the metals of interest from the waste rock and from the ore minerals. Ore bodies are formed by a variety of geological processes, the process of ore formation is called ore genesis. An ore deposit is an accumulation of ore and this is distinct from a mineral resource as defined by the mineral resource classification criteria.
An ore deposit is one occurrence of a particular ore type, Ore deposits are classified according to various criteria developed via the study of economic geology, or ore genesis. Stratiform arkose-hosted and shale-hosted copper, typified by the Zambian copperbelt and this identifies, early on, whether further investment in estimation and engineering studies is warranted and identifies key risks and areas for further work. This is because the distribution of ores is unequal and dislocated from locations of peak demand. Other, commodities do not have international clearing houses and benchmark prices and this generally makes determining the price of ores of this nature opaque and difficult. Such metals include lithium, niobium-tantalum, bismuth and rare earths, most of these commodities are dominated by one or two major suppliers with >60% of the worlds reserves. The London Metal Exchange aims to add uranium to its list of metals on warrant, the World Bank reports that China was the top importer of ores and metals in 2005 followed by the USA and Japan.
Economic geology Mineral resource classification Ore genesis Petrology Froth Flotation Extractive metallurgy DILL, the “chessboard” classification scheme of mineral deposits and geology from aluminum to zirconium, Earth-Science Reviews, Volume 100, Issue 1-4, June 2010, Pages 1-420
Potassium is a chemical element with symbol K and atomic number 19. It was first isolated from potash, the ashes of plants, in the periodic table, potassium is one of the alkali metals. Potassium in nature only in ionic salts. It is found dissolved in sea water, and is part of many minerals, naturally occurring potassium is composed of three isotopes, of which 40K is radioactive. Traces of 40K are found in all potassium, and it is the most common radioisotope in the human body, Potassium is chemically very similar to sodium, the previous element in Group 1 of the periodic table. They have a similar energy, which allows for each atom to give up its sole outer electron. That they are different elements combine with the same anions to make similar salts was suspected in 1702. Most industrial applications of potassium exploit the high solubility in water of potassium compounds, heavy crop production rapidly depletes the soil of potassium, and this can be remedied with agricultural fertilizers containing potassium, accounting for 95% of global potassium chemical production.
Potassium ions are necessary for the function of all living cells, fresh fruits and vegetables are good dietary sources of potassium. Potassium is the second least dense metal after lithium and it is a soft solid with a low melting point, and can be easily cut with a knife. Freshly cut potassium is silvery in appearance, but it begins to tarnish toward gray immediately on exposure to air, in a flame test and its compounds emit a lilac color with a peak emission wavelength of 766.5 nanometers. Neutral potassium atoms have 19 electrons, one more than the stable configuration of the noble gas argon. This process requires so little energy that potassium is readily oxidized by atmospheric oxygen, in contrast, the second ionization energy is very high, because removal of two electrons breaks the stable noble gas electronic configuration. Potassium therefore does not readily form compounds with the state of +2 or higher. Potassium is an active metal that reacts violently with oxygen in water. With oxygen it forms potassium peroxide, and with water potassium forms potassium hydroxide, the reaction of potassium with water is dangerous because of its violent exothermic character and the production of hydrogen gas.
Hydrogen reacts again with atmospheric oxygen, producing water, which reacts with the remaining potassium and this reaction requires only traces of water, because of this and the liquid sodium-potassium — NaK — are potent desiccants that can be used to dry solvents prior to distillation. Because of the sensitivity of potassium to water and air, reactions with other elements are only in an inert atmosphere such as argon gas using air-free techniques