• WordNet 3.6
    • n magnesium a light silver-white ductile bivalent metallic element; in pure form it burns with brilliant white flame; occurs naturally only in combination (as in magnesite and dolomite and carnallite and spinel and olivine)
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The wick of a trick candle has small amounts of magnesium in them. When you light the candle, you are also lighting the magnesium. When someone tries to blow out the flame, the magnesium inside the wick continues to burn and, in just a split second (or two or three), relights the wick.
    • n Magnesium (Chem) A light silver-white metallic element of atomic number 12, malleable and ductile, quite permanent in dry air but tarnishing in moist air. It burns, forming (the oxide) magnesia, with the production of a blinding light (the so-called magnesium light) which is used in signaling, in pyrotechny, or in photography where a strong actinic illuminant is required. Its compounds occur abundantly, as in dolomite, talc, meerschaum, etc. Symbol Mg. Atomic weight, 24.305. Specific gravity, 1.75.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n magnesium Manganese.
    • n magnesium Chemical symbol, Mg; atomic weight, 24.4. The metallic base of the widely distributed alkaline earth magnenesia, which in various combinations, and especially in the form of the double carbonate of lime and magnesia, is one of the most abundant of the materials which make up the earth's crust. It is a metal of a brilliant silver-white color, having a specific gravity of 1.75. It melts at a red heat, and boils at a temperature somewhat above that at which zinc volatilizes. When held in the flame of a candle it burns with a dazzlingly white light, which has been seen at sea at a distance of 28 miles. Magnesium was first prepared in a pure state by Bussy; that which had been previously obtained by Davy was impure and not a coherent metal. It is now manufactured on a large scale at various places, especially near Manchester in England, and is pressed when in a semi-fluid state into wire, and then flattened into ribbon, in which form it is generally sold. It is used in taking photographs in places into which the sunlight does not penetrate, in signaling for naval and military purposes, and in pyrotechny, as well as in some operations connected with chemical analysis. The magnesian combinations are widely distributed in nature. From 5 to 6 percent. of the solid material held in solution by the water of the ocean is magnesium sulphate, and from 8 to 11 percent. magnesium chlorid. Next to sodium, chlorin, and sulphuric acid, magnesium is the most abundant ingredient in solution in the ocean. It is, with rare exceptions (as in the case of the genus Serpula), not taken from the ocean by animal life, differing greatly in this respect from lime. Magnesium carbonate, in combination with calcium carbonate, forming dolomite, occurs in enormous quantity among the stratified formations. Beds made up of almost chemically pure dolomite hundreds of feet thick cover thousands of square miles in the valley of the upper Mississippi. Magnesium carbonate also occurs in great abundance, mixed in varying proportions with the calcium carbonate, in much of the rock designated as marble and limestone, which, when this fact becomes known by chemical analysis, are denominated dolomitic. Magnesia also plays the part of base in great numbers of silicates, especially in talc, meerschaum, serpentine, olivine, and the pyroxenes and hornblendes. Magnesian silicates form an important part of numerous meteorites. The pure magnesium carbonate (magnesite) occurs in various localities, but is by no means an abundant mineral. The non-silicated soluble compounds of magnesia are also of rather rare occurrence in nature, but are found in considerable quantity in a few localities, among which that in the vicinity of Stassfurt in Prussia is economically of by far the greatest importance. The combinations found there are kainite, carnallite, and kieserite. (See these words.) Both magnesium sulphate and magnesium chlorid occur in the water of many mineral springs as well as in that of the ocean. The bones of animals and the seeds of various cereals contain a small amount of magnesium phosphate, and the salt is also found in guano. Magnesian salts are used to a limited extent in medicine, especially the sulphate (Epsom salts); they are also used in dressing cotton goods and in dyeing; but, on the whole, the economical importance of the combinations of magnesium, considering their abundance and the cheapness with which they could be furnished in large quantity, is exceedingly small.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Magnesium mag-nē′shi-um or -si-um a metal of a bright, silver-white colour, which while burning gives a dazzling white light, and forms magnesia
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
NL. & F. See Magnesia


In literature:

The magnesium compound works rapidly and gives the strongest thread.
"Researches on Cellulose" by C. F. Cross
Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash, also magnesium are needed.
"Northern Nut Growers Association Report of the Proceedings at the Thirty-Eighth Annual Meeting" by Northern Nut Growers Association
They glittered from the thinnest conceivable layer of magnesium marking-powder.
"Scrimshaw" by William Fitzgerald Jenkins
The last became a white torch when a magnesium blob struck it.
"Hunters Out of Space" by Joseph Everidge Kelleam
The number of elements necessary to the growth of plants is small, and of this number calcium is one and magnesium is another.
"Right Use of Lime in Soil Improvement" by Alva Agee
Not that I mean to speak disrespectfully of magnesium.
"On the Old Road Vol. 1 (of 2)" by John Ruskin
The vapour of iron is there, the vapour of sodium, magnesium, and so on.
"Myths and Marvels of Astronomy" by Richard A. Proctor
Starch or Magnesium Carbonate may be used in a similar way.
"One Thousand Secrets of Wise and Rich Men Revealed" by C. A. Bogardus
Heinrich was the first to show that sunlight could be replaced by the magnesium light.
"Manures and the principles of manuring" by Charles Morton Aikman
Magnesite, as noted above, is the name of a mineral, the composition of which is magnesium carbonate.
"The Economic Aspect of Geology" by C. K. Leith

In poetry:

A long magnesium shaft
Of moonlight from the dormer cuts a path
Among the shattered skeletons of mice.
A great black presence beats its wings in wrath.
Above the boneyard burn its golden eyes.
Some small grey fur is pulsing in its grip.
"The End Of The Weekend" by Anthony Hecht

In news:

Noranda To Rationalize Magnesium Business.
Like the magnesium bells, there's plenty of material here so that they should stand up to moderate abuse with no problems.
They repair stripped, damaged, or worn out threads and can strengthen threads and extend thread life in soft base materials such as aluminum or magnesium.
0.50 gram magnesium ribbon Periodic table outline.
Magnesium has the added benefit of also dissolving in water, and here, too, thin components make the disappearing act possible.
Fire officials investigating magnesium fire at recycling center.
A follow up about a magnesium fire WNWO told you about Friday night.
Revision of B557 - 10 Standard Test Methods for Tension Testing Wrought and Cast Aluminum- and Magnesium -Alloy Products.
WK39440 Standard Test Methods for Tension Testing Wrought and Cast Aluminum- and Magnesium -Alloy Products.
Why do you need more magnesium in your diet.
SENCO BRANDS introduces four magnesium -body finish nailers.
Need another reason to load up on magnesium .
Magnesium infusions provide no benefit after bleeding stroke.
Low Magnesium Levels Can Be Associated With Long-Term Use.
Is it true that most women need more magnesium .

In science:

A comparison with the observed evolution of stellar magnesium abundances with metallicity shows that the shape of the [Mg/H][Fe/H]-relation is reasonably well reproduced by the model, except that the absolute values of [Mg/H] are systematically too low by a factor of 2.5.
Evolution of interstellar dust and stardust in the solar neighbourhood
Mg can be replaced by Fe and one rather forms a mixture of magnesium-iron-silicates.
Evolution of interstellar dust and stardust in the solar neighbourhood
Largely made up of iron and magnesium silicates, the mantle as a whole accounts for about 68% of Earth’s mass.
Geo-neutrinos and Earth's interior
Later on, Zoccali et al. (2006) and Lecureur et al. (2007a) measured oxygen, magnesium, sodium and aluminum in a sample of 50 K-giants with [Fe/H] covering a wide metallicity range, from −0.8 to +0.3 using the UVES spectrograph at the VLT.
The Galactic Bulge: A Review
Experimental data for a 2 nm thick silver deposit on a magnesium oxide MgO(100) substrate: (a) A FEG-SEM image of the film.
Optical response of supported particles