Q:

Where does magnesium come from?

A:

Magnesium is found in mineral deposits such as dolomite and magnesite, and it is an abundant element in the earth’s crust. It does not occur naturally as a pure metal.

Joseph Black discovered this silvery-white metal in 1755. However, Sir Humphrey Davy was the first to isolate this element through the process of electrolysis.

The chemical symbol for magnesium is Mg, and it has an atomic number of 12. Its melting point is 650 degrees Celsius, and its boiling point is 1,090 degrees Celsius.

Magnesium has various uses, including in photography, fireworks, incendiary bombs and flares. Magnesium also has medical applications. For example, as milk of magnesia, it is useful as an antacid for stomach upsets.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is magnesium used in?

    A:

    According to the Royal Society of Chemistry, magnesium is used in flares, pyrotechnics and incendiary bombs, and it was previously used in flash bulbs. Because it has a lower density than aluminum, its alloys are used in airplanes, missiles, bicycle frames, car seats and luggage.

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  • Q:

    What is chelated magnesium?

    A:

    Chelated magnesium is a medicine that is also known as magnesium amino acids chelate. It is often prescribed to supplement deficiencies of the mineral magnesium and sometimes to treat other medical problems. Sufficient magnesium is essential for healthy muscles and nerves and many other body systems.

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    Where does ricin come from?

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    Ricin comes from the castor bean plant, scientifically called Ricinus communis. The substance originates mainly in the bean but can be found in lesser amounts in other parts of the plant. Ricin is a toxin that causes death by interfering with the protein-making parts of cells.

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  • Q:

    How does magnesium react with oxygen?

    A:

    Magnesium has a very energetic combustion reaction with oxygen, where two atoms of magnesium bond with one molecule of oxygen gas to form two molecules of magnesium oxide. This reaction is extremely exothermic, releasing a great deal of heat and light, which is why magnesium fuses are used to initiate reactions such as the thermite reaction, and magnesium is used in flares for high visibility. The reaction of magnesium to oxygen is so energetically favorable that burning magnesium can steal the oxygen from both water and carbon dioxide, making these common methods of dousing flames ineffective to stop magnesium combustion.

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