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The Element Magnesium

Sir Humphry Davy

"Sir Humphry Davy"

What is Magnesium as on the Periodic Table? Definition of the Magnesium Element
A light, silvery-white, moderately hard metallic element that in ribbon or powder form burns with a brilliant white flame. Magnesium is a solid.

It is used in structural alloys, pyrotechnics, flash photography, and incendiary bombs. Magnesium is known as a light structural metal due to its low weight and to its capability of forming mechanically resistant alloys.

Magnesium is very chemically active and takes the place of Hydrogen in boiling water. Refer to Magnesium Reaction for its reaction to Water, Oxygen & Hydrochloric Acid. The Atomic Number of this element is 12 and the Element Symbol is Mg.

The Properties of the Magnesium Element
Symbol of Element : Mg
Atomic Number : 12
Atomic Mass: 24.305 amu
Melting Point: 650.0 C - 923.15 K
Boiling Point: 1107.0 C - 1380.15 K
Number of Protons/Electrons: 12
Number of Neutrons: 12
Crystal Structure: Hexagonal
Density @ 293 K: 1.738 g/cm3
Color : silvery-white

What is Magnesium? Origin / Meaning of the name Magnesium
The name originates from a Greek district in Thessaly called Magnesia. Magnesium was abundant in oxide and carbonate ores in this region, and they therefore became referred as stones from Magnesia.

What is Magnesium? Periodic Table Group and Classification of the Magnesium Element
Elements can be classified based on their physical states (States of Matter) e.g. gas, solid or liquid. This element is a solid. Magnesium is classified as an "Alkaline Earth Metals" which are located in Group 2 elements of the Periodic Table. Nearly 75% of all the elements in the Periodic Table are classified as metals which are detailed in the List of Metals. An Element classified as an Alkaline Earth Metals are found in the Earths crust, but not in the elemental form as they are so reactive. Instead, they are widely distributed in rock structures. For additional facts and information refer to Magnesium Properties.

Common properties of Alkaline Earth metals
The elements classed as "Alkaline Earth metals" have the following properties in common:

  • Shiny Solids
  • Two electrons in the outer shell
  • Can conduct heat or electricity
  • Can be formed into sheets

What is Magnesium? Occurrence of the Magnesium Element
Magnesium is a very abundant element in nature, ranking a little below Calciumin this respect. Like calcium, it is a constituent of many rocks and also occurs in the form of soluble salts. Does not occur uncombined with other elements
Obtained from sea water
Eighth most abundant element in the earth's crust
Found in large deposits of magnesite, dolomite, and other minerals

Medical Uses of Magnesium - Health and Treatments
Interesting information on the Medical Uses of Magnesium, Health and Treatments. Magnesium is used in treating coronary artery disease, the symptoms of PMS, migraines, high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia. The best known magnesium compound is magnesium sulfate (MgSO4
) which is popularly known as Epson salts. Epson salts are used in bath water to relax sore muscles and remove rough skin. Milk of Magnesia (magnesium hydroxide) reduces stomach acid, and increases water in the intestines. Milk of Magnesia is used as a laxative to relieve occasional constipation and as an antacid to relieve indigestion, upset stomach and heartburn.

Abundances of the element in different environments

%in Universe 0.06%
% in Sun 0.07%
% in Meteorites 12%
% in Earth's Crust 2.9%
% in Oceans 0.13%
% in Humans 0.027%

Associated Uses of Magnesium
Dead-burned magnesite is used as brick and liners in furnaces and converters
Photography - old type flash powder and flash bulbs
Incendiary bombs
Magnesium chloride, citrate, sulfate, oxide , hydroxide, stearate, taurate , sulphate and glycinate

Interesting Facts about the History of the Discovery of Magnesium Element
Magnesium was discovered by Joseph Black, in England, in 1755 who observed that magnesia alba (MgO) was not quicklime. The element was isolated by A. A. B. Bussy and Sir Humphry Davy in 1808 who isolated the metal electrochemically from magnesia.

Sir Humphry Davy
Sir Humphry Davy (1778-1829) isolated Sodium, Lithium, Potassium, barium, strontium, and calcium by means of electrolysis. Davy also demonstrated the elementary nature of Chlorine, invented the safety lamp and discovered the stupefying effects of nitrous oxide.

Magnesium is a rather tough silvery-white metal of small density. Air does not act rapidly upon it, but a thin film of oxide forms upon its surface, dimming its bright luster. The common acids dissolve it with the formation of the corresponding salts. It can be ignited readily and in burning liberates much heat and gives a brilliant white light. This light is very rich in the rays which affect photographic plates, and the metal in the form of fine powder is extensively used in the production of flash lights and for white lights in pyrotechnic displays.

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Alkaline Earth Metals
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