Potassium iodide is an inorganic chemical compound with a boiling point of 1330 degrees Celsius. It is also a useful chemical compound, especially in the field of radiation treatment. Unlike other salts, it is not hygroscopic, meaning it does not absorb water readily. However, it can be toxic, and therefore it should be taken after meals.
A thermodynamic study of the reaction between potassium and iodine reveals a surprising fact. Unlike potassium and water, the iodine molecule is a covalently bonded ion that is more energetic than the former. This results in a larger molecule with greater mass and London Dispersion Forces, which is more difficult to separate. The larger molecule also requires more energy.
In addition, the reaction between iodine and potassium is a surprisingly exothermic one, generating lots of heat. Thus, if you add elemental iodine to potassium hydroxide, the result is a very hot liquid that is very useful for the extraction of carbon from the aqueous phase. But it is also a very energy intensive process, and will eventually disintegrate.
However, the most interesting aspect of the process is that it produces a white crystalline salt, which is a nice little bonus. As such, it is commonly used in photography as well as gold etchant.
The’magic number’ is the number of particles that the KI molecule can generate. For example, it can create a dozen or more ions, but the total number of particles is only three.