What Is the Normal Phase of Magnesium?

What Is the Normal Phase of Magnesium?


The normal phase of magnesium is solid. Every element on the periodic table can be found in one of three basic phases or states at room temperature, which is called the normal phase. These phases are: solid, liquid and gas.

A recently defined fourth phase is called the plasma phase. According to NASA, the heat required to move an element into this phase is similar to that found on the Sun or during reentry into Earth's atmosphere.

When magnesium is heated to 1,202 degrees Fahrenheit, it moves into the liquid phase. When heated to 1,994 degrees Fahrenheit, it becomes a gas.

Magnesium is a metal with an atomic number of 12 and an atomic weight of 24.3050. It produces a bright, white light when burned, making it useful in the production of flares, flashbulbs and pyrotechnics. It is the eighth most prevalent element in the universe. Within the earth's crust, it is the seventh most abundant element. Magnesium never naturally occurs on its own. It is always found in compounds such as magnesium oxide, or magnesia, and hydrated magnesium sulfate, or Epsom salt.

In 1808, English chemist Sir Humphrey Davy was the first to isolate magnesium by the process of electrolysis on a compound containing magnesium oxide and mercuric oxide.

Magnesium-aluminum alloys are used often in structures requiring strong but lightweight metals, such as airplanes, wheel bases, rockets and missiles. Magnesium oxide, when combined with water, forms magnesium hydroxide, which is more commonly known as milk of magnesia and used as an antacid or laxative.