TURTLE ROCK SCIENTIFIC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY TURTLE ROCK SCIENTIFIC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Potassium reacts with water. A small piece of potassium metal (K) is dropped into a Petri dish with water (H2O). A drop of detergent was added to water to prevent the metal from sticking to the side of the dish. Potassium moves around very vigorously, melts, fizzes, and even jumps, producing bubbles of hydrogen gas (H2) and potassium hydroxide (KOH): K + H2O -> KOH + H2. The presence of the hydroxide is accentuated by the addition of few drops of phenolphthalein indicator, which turns the solution pink, indicating alkaline solution.
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