Chemical & Physical Properties
Atomic Number: 12
Atomic Weight: 24.305
Discovery: Recognized as an element by Black 1775; Isolated by Sir Humphrey Davy 1808 (England)
Electron Configuration: [Ne] 3s2
Word Origin: Magnesia, a district in Thessaly, Greece
Properties: Magnesium has a melting point of 648.8°C, boiling point of 1090°C, specific gravity of 1.738 (20°C), and valence of 2. Magnesium metal is light (one-third lighter than aluminum), silvery-white, and relatively tough. The metal tarnishes slightly in air. Finely divided magnesium ignites upon heating in air, burning with a bright white flame.
Sources: Magnesium is the 8th most abundant element in the earth's crust. While it is not found free it nature, it is available in minerals including magnesite and dolomite. The metal may be obtained by electrolysis of fused magnesium chloride derived from brines and seawater.
Atomic Weight: 24.305
Element Classification: Alkaline Earth Metal
Isotopes: Magnesium has 21 known isotopes ranging from Mg-20 to Mg-40. Magnesium has 3 stable isotopes: Mg-24, Mg-25 and Mg-26.
Density (g/cc): 1.738
Appearance: lightweight, malleable, silvery-white metal
Atomic Radius (pm): 160
Atomic Volume (cc/mol): 14.0
Covalent Radius (pm): 136
Ionic Radius: 66 (+2e)
Specific Heat (@20°C J/g mol): 1.025
Fusion Heat (kJ/mol): 9.20
Evaporation Heat (kJ/mol): 131.8
Debye Temperature (K): 318.00
Pauling Negativity Number: 1.31
First Ionizing Energy (kJ/mol): 737.3
Oxidation States: 2
Lattice Structure: Hexagonal
Lattice Constant (Å): 3.210
Lattice C/A Ratio: 1.624
CAS Registry Number: 7439-95-4
- Magnesium was originally named 'magnium' by Humphrey Davy after isolating the element from magnesia, known now as magnesium oxide.
- The 1915 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Richard Willstätter for his work with the chlorophyll and identifying magnesium was the central atom in its structure.
- Epsom salt is a magnesium compound, magnesium sulfate (MgSO4).
- Magnesium is the 10th most abundant element in the human body.
- Magnesium will burn in pure nitrogen gas and pure carbon dioxide gas.
- Magnesium is the fifth most common element found in seawater.