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Interesting Facts About Magnesium

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Last updated date: 19th Jul 2024
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Overview of Magnesium

Kids, did you know that our periodic table contains 118 named elements? The periodic table is an arrangement of different elements in rows and columns. In the periodic table, gases are arranged in one column, whereas metals are placed in another column.


Magnesium is one of the most abundant elements in the periodic table. It is an alkaline metal and is found in group 2 of the periodic table. Not only in free form, but magnesium is also found in the human body. It is an essential component of plant and human bodies.


Magnesium Element


Magnesium Element


What is Magnesium?

The chemical element magnesium has the symbol Mg and the atomic number 12.  Magnesium was first isolated by Sir Humphry Davy in 1808 and named 'magnum.' Antoine Bussy, in 1831, first prepared magnesium inconsistent form. Magnesium comes in the category of alkaline earth metal, and it is not present in free pure form, and its compounds are found in large deposits such as dolomite, magnesite, and other minerals.


Magnesium is the 8th most abundant element in the earth's crust, making up 13 per cent of our planet's mass. Magnesium is the most common element in the Earth as a whole, after iron, oxygen, and silicon. The weight of magnesium metal is light, but it is a strong, silvery-white metal. Magnesium tarnishes when exposed to air. 


Magnesium is a very useful metal in industrial use, with a melting point of 1,994° Fahrenheit and a boiling point of 1,202° Fahrenheit. Magnesium is highly flammable in its powdered form and burns with a brilliant white flame. But it becomes challenging to ignite this metal as a large mass.


Magnesium


Magnesium


Uses of Magnesium

Uses of Magnesium include the following

  • Magnesium is found both outside and inside of humans. Magnesium has many beneficial uses, either as an element or a compound.

  • Magnesium sulphate is a salt consisting of magnesium and sulphate ions. It has a chemical formula, MgSO4. Magnesium sulphate is a white crystalline solid and is soluble in water. Magnesium sulphate is used to treat low amounts of magnesium in the blood. 

  • Magnesium-rich foods include seeds, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts, bananas, kiwi fruit, papayas, and wheat.

  • Magnesium Hydroxide is another compound of magnesium. The formula of magnesium hydroxide is Mg(OH)2, also called 'milk of magnesia.'


Magnesium Rich Foods

Magnesium is a mineral that is vital to the function of your body. It is involved in hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body and helps you to relax and sleep better. This makes magnesium even more important for people with anxiety who might be experiencing fatigue or sleep issues. Magnesium also has long-term health benefits – it can reduce inflammation, prevent muscle cramps, protect against certain types of cancer, and help regulate blood sugar levels.


Interesting Facts Of Magnesium

Let's learn some interesting facts about Magnesium

  • Magnesium was discovered by Joseph Black in the year 1775. Magnesium is derived from a Greek word called 'Magnesia,' which is also a place in Greek.

  • There are three stable isotopes of magnesium: Magnesium-24 found at 79%, Magnesium 25 at 10%, and Magnesium 26 at 11%. They all have a common atomic number but have different atomic masses.

  • Magnesium ions are found at the centre of the chlorophyll, the green photosynthetic pigment in plants. In 1915, Richard Willstatter was awarded the Nobel Prize for this discovery.

  • Magnesium is very necessary for many biochemical reactions that happen in our bodies. An average person requires about 250 to 350 mg of magnesium daily for a healthy body.

  • Our bones constitute about 60% of magnesium, and our muscles are composed of 39% of magnesium.

  • Once ignited, magnesium is extremely difficult to extinguish. Attempting to put out the fire using water produces hydrogen, and it burns more violently and fiercely. 

  • Magnesium also burns in pure nitrogen and carbon dioxide, so a fire extinguisher with carbon dioxide will enhance the flames. 

  • The most effective way to stop magnesium from burning is using a dry chemical fire extinguisher or just simply covering it with sand. 

  • Magnesium ribbon is a thin strip of magnesium metal. The burning of the magnesium ribbon symbolizes a chemical change. Magnesium ribbon burns with a bright dazzling light producing white dense fumes. On cooling, this white powder turns into magnesium oxide. 


Summary

In this article, we learned that magnesium is an element found in our nature. In the article above, we also learned about magnesium-rich foods, magnesium sulphate, the formula of magnesium hydroxide, magnesium ribbon, and some interesting facts about magnesium. The compounds of magnesium are very useful to humans in many ways. Magnesium oxide, MgO, is used in the agricultural, chemical, construction, and manufacturing industries.


When burnt, magnesium produces a quick and bright lightening flame and is used in pyrotechnics, flashlight photography, and flares. Magnesium is very light in its elemental form but is a very strong metal. 

FAQs on Interesting Facts About Magnesium

1. Which country in the world produces the largest amount of magnesium alone?

China is the world's largest producer of magnesium. On average, China supplies 80% of magnesium to the world alone.

2. What are the other alkaline earth metals apart from magnesium?

Beryllium, Calcium, Strontium, Barium, and Radium are alkaline earth metals other than Magnesium.

3. What are 'mag wheels'?

Speciality car wheels are called 'mag wheels' due to their construction use of magnesium metal. However, now mag wheels are made of aluminium metal.

4. What happens if a person has magnesium deficiency?

In humans, magnesium deficiency can lead to various health problems like heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis in females, and high blood pressure.