Is magnesium a good conductivity?


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Luke Wilcox answered
Magnesium, with the symbol Mg is a group 2 metal, which means it is an Alkaline Earth Metal. Magnesium is a good conductor of electricity due to the delocalized electrons (electrons that are free to flow throughout the lattice) in the lattice.

  • What is magnesium's electronic structure like?

Magnesium has two electrons in its outer shell. This is correspondent to its group number, and so magnesium ions (atoms with a charge) will have a charge of 2+, as it loses two electrons from the outer shell to end up with a full outer shell.

  • How does the bonding affect its conductivity?

In a metal, ions are held together by electrostatic forces and this is called metallic bonding. Metallic bonding involves only metal ions, in this case Mg2+, and delocalized electrons.

An electron has a -1 charge and to balance the charge of the overall lattice, there is twice the number of electrons as there are ions. The more delocalized electrons there are in a metallic lattice, the higher the conductivity.

  • Is magnesium a good conductor of heat?

In terms of thermal conductivity, magnesium is not the safest. Heat is conducted far too easily with magnesium and therefore it is highly flammable. Due to the ease of ignition of magnesium, it is not used for items which are required to withstand high temperatures, such as frying pans, heating appliances (such as radiators) etc as it would be extremely unsafe.

When magnesium burns, it burns as a very bright light - although it can be easily distinguished, unless it's a large fire, its flames can reach a massive temperature of 2000 degrees Celsius and so it's too dangerous to use.

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