How many electrons does magnesium have?


Quick Answer

An atom of magnesium has 12 electrons. These electrons are negatively charged particles and revolve around the nucleus of the magnesium atom in fixed orbits. The nucleus has 12 positively charged protons.

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Full Answer

The electronic configuration of the magnesium atom is 2, 8, 2; this means that the first orbit has a complete set of two electrons, the second orbit has a complete octet, or eight electrons, and the third orbit has an incomplete set of two electrons. The magnesium atom prefers to lose these two electrons during a chemical reaction. This makes magnesium electropositive and gives magnesium a valence of 2 for chemical reactivity. The atomic number of magnesium is 12. Magnesium is an alkaline earth metal.

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