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Kalium vs. Potassium: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sumera Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on December 16, 2023
"Kalium" and "potassium" refer to the same chemical element (symbol K), with "kalium" being the Latin and German name, and "potassium" the English name.

Key Differences

"Kalium" is the term used for potassium in several languages, derived from the Latin "kalium," indicating its historical roots. Potassium, on the other hand, is the English term for this element, derived from potash, the substance from which it was first isolated.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 16, 2023
In the periodic table, "kalium" and "potassium" are represented by the symbol 'K', originating from the Latin "kalium." While "kalium" reflects the element's scientific and historical nomenclature, "potassium" is more commonly used in English-speaking countries and in international scientific literature.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 16, 2023
"Kalium" is commonly used in German and several other European languages. Potassium, however, is used in English and is recognized globally in scientific communities, making it the standard term in English-language chemistry education and literature.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 16, 2023
The term "kalium" reflects the element's historical discovery and naming conventions, rooted in alchemy and early chemistry. Potassium's name, conversely, is linked to its early extraction from potash (pot-ash), a substance derived from plant ashes soaked in pots.
Harlon Moss
Dec 16, 2023
Both "kalium" and "potassium" refer to the same element, known for its reactivity with water and important role in biological systems. While "kalium" is often used in historical or language-specific contexts, "potassium" is universally recognized in the international scientific community.
Janet White
Dec 16, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Language Origin

Latin and German
English
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 16, 2023

Use in Languages

Used in German and other European languages
Commonly used in English and international texts
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 16, 2023

Historical Context

Reflects historical naming conventions
Derived from potash, its original source
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 16, 2023

Scientific Recognition

Less recognized in modern science
Universally recognized in modern science
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 16, 2023

Role in Education

Used in specific language contexts
Standard in English-language chemistry education
Aimie Carlson
Dec 16, 2023
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Kalium and Potassium Definitions

Kalium

Element with atomic number 19 in Latin nomenclature.
Kalium reacts vigorously with water.
Harlon Moss
Dec 07, 2023

Potassium

An alkali metal, reactive and soft.
Potassium reacts explosively with water.
Janet White
Dec 07, 2023

Kalium

Used in the periodic table in some languages.
Kalium's symbol on the periodic table is 'K'.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 07, 2023

Potassium

Essential for plant growth and animal health.
Potassium is a key component of fertilizers.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2023

Kalium

Latin name for the element potassium.
Kalium was first isolated from potash.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2023

Potassium

Obtained historically from potash.
Early potassium was derived from potash.
Janet White
Dec 07, 2023

Kalium

The German term for potassium.
Kalium is essential for plant growth.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2023

Potassium

A chemical element with symbol K and atomic number 19.
Potassium is a vital nutrient for living organisms.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Kalium

Historical term for potassium in alchemy.
Alchemists referred to potassium as kalium.
Harlon Moss
Dec 07, 2023

Potassium

Used in various industrial and medical applications.
Potassium compounds are used in glass manufacturing.
Janet White
Dec 07, 2023

Kalium

(obsolete) potassium.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Potassium

A soft, silver-white, extremely reactive element that is an alkali metal, is essential to plant and animal cell functions, and occurs in nature only in compounds. It can be obtained by electrolysis of its hydroxide and is found in, or converted to, a wide variety of salts used especially in fertilizers and soaps. Atomic number 19; atomic weight 39.098; melting point 63.5°C; boiling point 759°C; specific gravity 0.86; valence 1. See Periodic Table.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Kalium

Potassium; - so called by the German chemists.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Potassium

A soft, waxy, silvery reactive metal that is never found unbound in nature; an element (symbol K) with an atomic number of 19 and atomic weight of 39.0983. The symbol is derived from the Latin kalium.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Potassium

(countable) A single atom of this element.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Potassium

An Alkali element, occurring abundantly but always combined, as in the chloride, sulphate, carbonate, or silicate, in the minerals sylvite, kainite, orthoclase, muscovite, etc. Atomic weight 39.0. Symbol K (Kalium).
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Potassium

A light soft silver-white metallic element of the alkali metal group; oxidizes rapidly in air and reacts violently with water; is abundant in nature in combined forms occurring in sea water and in carnallite and kainite and sylvite
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

FAQs

Why is potassium called kalium in some languages?

"Kalium" is derived from Latin and is used in languages like German.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 16, 2023

Why does kalium have the symbol 'K'?

'K' comes from the Latin name, kalium.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 16, 2023

What is the symbol for kalium/potassium?

The symbol is 'K' for both.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 16, 2023

Can I find kalium in food?

Yes, it's present in many foods as potassium.
Harlon Moss
Dec 16, 2023

Are kalium and potassium the same element?

Yes, they are different names for the same element.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 16, 2023

Is potassium important for plants?

Absolutely, it's vital for plant growth.
Janet White
Dec 16, 2023

Was potassium discovered from potash?

Yes, it was first isolated from potash.
Janet White
Dec 16, 2023

Do chemists use kalium or potassium?

Mostly potassium, especially in English-speaking countries.
Harlon Moss
Dec 16, 2023

Are potassium supplements common?

Yes, they are widely used for health purposes.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 16, 2023

Is potassium a common element in the human body?

Yes, it's essential for various bodily functions.
Harlon Moss
Dec 16, 2023

Is potassium reactive?

Yes, especially with water.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 16, 2023

Why is potassium essential for animals?

It plays a key role in nerve function and muscle contraction.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 16, 2023

Is potassium used in industry?

Yes, in various applications like fertilizers and glass making.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 16, 2023

Is kalium used in modern chemistry?

Less so; potassium is the more commonly used term.
Harlon Moss
Dec 16, 2023

Does the body need potassium?

Yes, it's crucial for maintaining cellular function.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 16, 2023

Can kalium be toxic?

In high amounts, as with potassium, it can be harmful.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 16, 2023

Does kalium occur naturally?

Yes, as potassium, it's abundant in the earth's crust.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 16, 2023

Are there different isotopes of potassium?

Yes, including some that are radioactive.
Harlon Moss
Dec 16, 2023

Is potassium part of the periodic table?

Yes, it's element number 19.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 16, 2023

Can I overdose on kalium/potassium?

Yes, excessive intake can be dangerous.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 16, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.

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