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Magnesium, Mg, is a light, silver-colored alkali earth metal, who's atomic number is 12, but doesn't always have 12 nuetrons. It's first two electron shells are full, but it's third has only 2 when it would prefer 18. Magnesium is fairly stable in a normal atmosphere, but does slowly react with water to form hydrogen and magnesium hydroxide, just like all the other alkali earth metals

Magnesium will burn extremeley energetically if you mange to light it, the light produced was so intense it was used as a camera flash long ago. This property can be used to ignite high-temperature experiments, such as thermite-type reactions. Magnesium is also chemically useful as a reducing agent, meaning if you take an oxide of an element, mix with pure magnesium and the light it, the oxygen will switch from whatever metal to the magnesium, resulting in pure metal, and magnesium oxide.

Magnesium is also strong enough to be used as a structural metal, and is even lighter than aluminum, so some aircraft parts (Especially small hang-glider frames) are made of a magnesium-aluminum alloy. At one point a magnesium-thorium alloy called mag-thor was produced for missile parts, but due to the radioactivity of thorium, this hasn't been used in quite some time. I'd pay dearly for a piece of this antique alloy.

These are my samples!


Magnalium is a nick-name given to a magnesium-aluminum alloy, about 50/50, used in various pyrotechnic mixtures and compositions. Since I have about 4 pounds of scrap magnesium and aluminum is all but hard to come by, I thought I'd make my own, and this is what I came up with!

It's so brittle you can crush it with a mortar and pestle, and while making it you have to throw sulfur on it to create a cloud of sulfur dioxide to protect the molten magnesium from violently bursting into flames... Tricky stuff to make, but it's nice and shiny and rare so why not.

Date added(year-month-day):20120229, sample number:98

Tags(Elements in sample):magnesium, aluminum


Found a lucky buy on Ebay, acquired 4 pounds of scrap magnesium, beautiful shiny stuff too!

If you want a nice chunk of magnesium for a collection, you know who to contact!

Date added(year-month-day):20111130, sample number:87

Tags(Elements in sample):magnesium

Antique Magnesium

This is a fairly common form of magnesium, being magnesium ribbon, sold by the one ounce roll. This particular roll is pretty old by the looks of it, and pretty corroded too... Not very pretty, but still works for chemistry and/or lighting on fire, which is, by the way, a terrible idea unless you know what you're doing and only use tiny clippings.

Date added(year-month-day):20110912, sample number:62

Tags(Elements in sample):magnesium

Magnesium Firestarter

This is a fairly common magnesium bar, sold as an emergency fire-starter at most any store with camping supplies. The idea is since magnesium is soft and extremely flammable, you can use a knife to "shave" off the corners into a little pile of magnesium fluff, and originally it had a bar of a different metal, "ferrocerium", attached to the side, which is a metal that sparks vigorously when scraped, used to ignite the magnesium shavings. I've heard it's about 98% magnesium.

Date added(year-month-day):20110723, sample number:10

Tags(Elements in sample):magnesium

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