Is potassium neutral (inert), how many electrons does it have?

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Potassium is not inert in nature. It is a reactive alkali metal. The potassium atom has 19 electrons in its electron shell with a configuration of 2, 8, 10, 1. This is one more than the nearest noble gas configuration of 2, 8, 10. The potassium atom has to lose one electron to achieve a stable electron configuration.

Potassium atoms take part in reactions with elements that can accept an electron. The result is an ionic compound with a positively charged potassium ion and another negatively charged ion. The two oppositely charged ions are attracted to each other as the net charge becomes zero.

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