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How many electrons does a magnesium ion have?

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Quick Answer

The most common magnesium ion has a +2 charge, which means it has lost two of its original 12 electrons, leaving it with a total of 10 electrons. The atomic number of magnesium is 12, which means that in its stable state, it has 12 protons and 12 electrons.

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Full Answer

An ion forms when an atom either loses or gains electrons. If the atom gains electrons, it becomes a negatively charged ion. If it loses electrons, it becomes a positively charged ion. In the case of magnesium, the most common ion is Mg+2. This occurs when magnesium hydroxide, the main ingredient in Milk of Magnesia, forms. It is possible for magnesium to form bonds that create a different ion.

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