Magnesium is a shiny gray solid which bears a close physical resemblance to the other five elements in the second column (group 2, or alkaline earth metals) of the periodic table: all group 2 elements have the same electron configuration in the outer electron shell and a similar crystal structure.
Magnesium is the third-most-commonly-used structural metal, following iron and aluminium. The main applications of magnesium are, in order: aluminium alloys, die-casting (alloyed with zinc), removing sulfur in the production of iron and steel, and the production of titanium in the Kroll process. Magnesium is today obtained mainly by electrolysis of magnesium salts obtained from brine.
Protons and Neutrons in Magnesium
Magnesium is a chemical element with atomic number 12 which means there are 12 protons in its nucleus. Total number of protons in the nucleus is called the atomic number of the atom and is given the symbol Z. The total electrical charge of the nucleus is therefore +Ze, where e (elementary charge) equals to 1,602 x 10-19 coulombs.
The total number of neutrons in the nucleus of an atom is called the neutron number of the atom and is given the symbol N. Neutron number plus atomic number equals atomic mass number: N+Z=A. The difference between the neutron number and the atomic number is known as the neutron excess: D = N – Z = A – 2Z.
For stable elements, there is usually a variety of stable isotopes. Isotopes are nuclides that have the same atomic number and are therefore the same element, but differ in the number of neutrons. Mass numbers of typical isotopes of Magnesium are 24; 25 ;26.
Main Isotopes of Magnesium
Magnesium naturally occurs in three stable isotopes, 24Mg, 25Mg, and 26Mg. The longest-lived radioisotope is 28Mg with a half-life of 20.915 hours. The lighter isotopes mostly decay to isotopes of sodium while the heavier isotopes decay to isotopes of aluminium.
Magnesium-24 is composed of 12 protons, 12 neutrons, and 12 electrons.
Magnesium-25 is composed of 12 protons, 13 neutrons, and 12 electrons.
Magnesium-26 is composed of 12 protons, 12 neutrons, and 12 electrons.
Electrons and Electron Configuration
The number of electrons in an electrically-neutral atom is the same as the number of protons in the nucleus. Therefore, the number of electrons in neutral atom of Magnesium is 12. Each electron is influenced by the electric fields produced by the positive nuclear charge and the other (Z – 1) negative electrons in the atom.
Since the number of electrons and their arrangement are responsible for the chemical behavior of atoms, the atomic number identifies the various chemical elements. The configuration of these electrons follows from the principles of quantum mechanics. The number of electrons in each element’s electron shells, particularly the outermost valence shell, is the primary factor in determining its chemical bonding behavior. In the periodic table, the elements are listed in order of increasing atomic number Z.
Electron configuration of Magnesium is [Ne] 3s2.
Possible oxidation states are +2.
Magnesium occurs naturally only in combination with other elements, where it invariably has a +2 oxidation state. The free element (metal) can be produced artificially, and is highly reactive (though in the atmosphere, it is soon coated in a thin layer of oxide that partly inhibits reactivity). The free metal burns with a characteristic brilliant-white light.
Typical Alloy of Magnesium
In general, Elektron is the registered trademark of a wide range of magnesium alloys manufactured by a British company Magnesium Elektron Limited. Elektron 21, designated by UNS M12310, is one of alloys with excellent corrosion resistance and castability. Cast products possess a fine-grained microstructure and pressure tightness. This alloy can be easily machined. Application include motorsports and aerospace, since it possess high strength, light weight and it has excellent vibration damping characteristics.
|Number of protons
|Number of neutrons (typical isotopes)
|24; 25 ;26
|Number of electrons