Magnesium single crystal 12Mg24.312

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Magnesium single crystal 12Mg24.312

Magnesium was recognized as an element in 1755 by Joseph Black at Edinburgh, Scotland; isolated by Sir Humphry Davy in 1808.

[Greek, Magnesia = district of Thessaly]

French: magnésium
German: magnesium
Italian: magnesio
Spanish: magnesio

Description: Magnesium is a silvery-white, lustrous and relatively soft metal. It is obtained by the electrolysis of fused MgCl2. Magnesium burns in air when ignited and it reacts with hot water. It is used as the bulk metal and in leightweight alloys. Magnesium as a 'sacrificial' electrode will protect other metals that are exposed to seawater and groud water.



Magnesium single crystal properties

State: single crystal
Crystal structure: hexagonal
Production method: Bridgman
Standard size: diameter 10-20mm
thickness 1-2
Orientation: (0001), (1-100) and (11-20)
Orientation accuracy: <2°, <1°, <0.4° or <0.1°
Polishing: as cut, one or two sides polished
Roughness of surface: <0.03µm
Purity: 99.999%
Typical analysis (ppm): C 3
H < 1
O 9
N < 5
Cu 1.60
Fe 1.80
Ni < 1
Pb 0.30
Si 0.30

Ga, Hf and Ta are below the detection limit

Materials properties

Density: 1.74 g/cm3
Melting point: 648.85 °C / 922.0 °K
Boiling point: 1089.85 °C / 1363 °K
Molar volume: 13.98 cm3
Thermal conductivity: 156 [300 K] Wm-1K-1
Coefficient of linear thermal expansion: 26.1 x 10-6 K-1
Electrical resistivity: 4.38x 10-8 [293 K] Wm
Mass magnetic susceptibility: +6.8 x 10-9(s) kg-1m3
Young's modulus: 44.7 GPa
Rigidity modulus: 17.3 GPa
Bulk modulus: 35.6 GPa
Poisson's ratio: 0.291
Radii: Mg2+ 79; atomic 160; covalent 136
Electronegativity: 1.31 (Pauling); 1.23 (Allred); 3.75 eV (absolute)
Effective nuclear charge: 2.85 (Slater); 3.31 (Clementi); 4.15 (Froese-Fischer)
Number of Isotopes (incl. nuclear isomers): 12
Issotope mass range: 20 -> 31
Crystal structure, (cell dimentions / pm), space group hexagonal
X-ray diffraction: mass absorption coefficients: CuKα 38.6 (µ/r) / cm2g-1
MoKα 4.11 (µ/r) / cm2g-1
Neutron scattering length: 0.5375 b/10-12 cm
Thermal neutron capture cross-section: 0.063 sa / barns


Biological data

Biological role: Essential to all species
Toxic intake: low toxicity
Lethal intake: LD50 (chloride, oral, rat)=8100 mg kg-1
Hazards: Magnesium compounds vary in toxicity but there is no evidence that magnesium itself produces systemic poisoning.
Level in humans  
Blood: 37.8 mg dm-3
Bone: 700 - 1800 p.p.m.
Liver: 590 p.p.m.
Muscle: 900 p.p.m.
Daily dietary intake: 250 - 380 mg
Total mass of element in average [70 kg] person: 19 g


Geological data

MineralFormulaDensityHardnessCrystal apperance
Brucite Mg(OH)2 2.39 2.5 rhom., waxy/vit. white
Carnallite KMgCl3 1.602 2.5 orth., greasy, colourless reddish
Cordierite Mg2Al4Si5O18 2.57 7 orth., translucent grey/lilac etc.
Diopside CaMgSi2O6 3.3 5.5 - 6.5 mon., vit./resinous white/yellow
Dolomite CaMg(CO3)2 2.85 3.4 - 4 rhom., vit. colourless
Enstatite Mg2Si2O6 3.209 6 - 6 orth., pearly/vit., colourless grey


Chief ore: seawater; and teh ores dolomite, magnestite; carnallite, kieserite and brucite
World production: 325000 tonnes/year
Main mining areas: Austria, China, Poland, Russia, USA, India, Greece, Cananda
Reserves: >2 x 1010 tonnes as ores ; and >1 x 1024 tonnes in the sea
Specimen: available as chips, granules, powder, ribbon, rod or turnings. Safe.


Sun: 4.0 x 107 (relative to H = 1 x 1012)
Earth's crust: 23000 p.p.m.
Residence time:  
Classification: accumulating
Oxidation state: II

Source: Emsley, J. (1998) The Elements (3rd Edition)

Overview of elements with access to our shop

1 18
2 13 14 15 16 17
Li Be B C
Na Mg 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Al Si P S
K Ca Sc Ti V Cr Mn Fe Co Ni Cu Zn Ga Ge As Se
Rb Sr Y Zr Nb Mo
Ru Rh Pd Ag Cd In Sn Sb Te I
Cs Ba La Hf Ta W Re Os Ir Pt Au Hg Tl Pb Bi
Ce Pr Nd
Sm Eu Gd Tb Dy Ho Er Tm Yb Lu

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