This magnesium name derives from the Greek taken from the name of a region in Thessaly called Magnesia. Joseph Black from England called magnesium as a kind of element in 1755. Sir Humphry Davy could produce magnesium metal by electrolysis in the year 1808 rather than a mixture of magnesia and HgO.
Magnesium is the chemical element in the periodic table that has the symbol Mg and atomic number 12 and atomic weight 24.31. Abundance of magnesium in the Earth’s crust was ranked eighth in the percentage of 2%. Alkaline earth metals are used as material for making aluminum-magnesium mixture, which is usually called magnalium.
Pure magnesium does not exist in nature as an element, but in the form of a compound in the mineral. For example magnesium carbonate in the form of compounds contained in mineral magnesit and dolomite (MgCO3.CaCO3). Sea water contains 0.13% magnesium, and is a source of magnesium, which is not limited.
2.1.1 The main properties
Magnesium is a strong metal, silvery white, light (one third lighter than aluminum) and will be dull if left in the air. In the form of powder, this metal is very reactive and can burn with a white flame when the air is humid. When burned magnesium metal ribbon and soaked in water, it will continue burning until the ribbon magnesium was out. Magnesium, when burned in air, producing a bright white light. This is used in the early days of photography as a source of lighting (flash powder). Mass meeting of magnesium is 1.738 gram/cm3. Relativitation atomic mass is 24, and atomic number 12. Magnesium melts at a temperature of 111 ° C.
Magnesium, particularly magnesium oxide is used as a refractory material to produce steel, glass, and cement. In the form of metal, the main purpose of this element is added as an ingredient in aluminum metal. Aluminum-magnesium metal is typically used in the manufacture of beverage cans, used in some automotive and truck components, and can protect steel structures such as pipes and water tank buried in the ground against corrosion.
Magnesium is very important role in the process of animal and plant life. Magnesium is found in chlorophyll, which is used by plants for photosynthesis. Magnesium is also taking part in the replication of DNA and RNA that has a very important role in the process of descent of all organisms. In addition, magnesium activates many enzymes that speed up chemical reactions in the human body and used as a drug neutralizing stomach acid.