# What is the valence electron configuration for potassium?

Mar 7, 2014

K = $1 {s}^{2} 2 {s}^{2} 2 {p}^{6} 3 {s}^{2} 3 {p}^{6} 4 {s}^{1}$.
This simplifies to a noble gas notation of:K = $\left[A r\right] 4 {s}^{1}$

#### Explanation:

Potassium (K) is an Alkali metal found in the first column (Group I) and in the fourth row (period 4) of the periodic table. All alkali metals end in ${s}^{1}$ for their electron configuration.

The total electron configuration for potassium is

K = $1 {s}^{2} 2 {s}^{2} 2 {p}^{6} 3 {s}^{2} 3 {p}^{6} 4 {s}^{1}$

This simplifies to a noble gas notation of

K = $\left[A r\right] 4 {s}^{1}$

We use the symbol for argon (Ar) because it is the last noble gas in the period (row) above potassium on the periodic table.

The valence electrons are the highest energy level s and p orbital electrons of the atom. This would mean potassium has a valence shell of $4 {s}^{1}$