Does Magnesium Conduct Electricity: 11 Important Facts

Magnesium is mostly found in its oxide/sulfide form. Let us discuss how magnesium conducts electricity in this article.

The magnesium has two valence electrons that help in the conduction of electricity. In ionic form, it can be conductive only in the molten form. Magnesium has good conductivity and does not resist the flow of electricity.

The electric properties of magnesium can determine its conductivity. In addition, the oxidation state of magnesium acquired by sharing its valence electrons can tell us about the electrostatic force and conductivity/resistivity. Let us discuss how magnesium conducts electricity in detail further.

Is magnesium an insulator or a conductor?

An insulator does not allow heat or electricity to penetrate through them, but conductors do. Let us see whether magnesium is an insulator or a conductor.

Magnesium is a conductor because, like any other metal, it allows the flow of electricity and heat. However, it does not have good conducting properties as it is mostly found in ionic form.

How does magnesium conduct electricity?

A metal can conduct electricity due to the flow of electric flux producing the electric current. Let us discuss how magnesium can conduct electricity.

Magnesium conducts electricity only in mixed/dissolved in the aqueous liquid. The valence electrons of the magnesium are dissociated on receiving enough energy required for exciting in a higher energy orbit, thus producing electric flux and flow of current.

Why does magnesium conduct electricity?

An element produces electricity with unstable electronic configuration and free electrons that migrate to conduct electricity. Let’s discuss how Mg conducts electricity.

Magnesium conducts electricity because it has no stable electronic configuration, which is less than half-filled. Hence it gives away the electrons to form ions. The ionic energy released helps in the conduction of electricity.

What is the electrical conductivity of magnesium?

The electrical conductivity is the ratio of a current density per unit length of the conductor, measured in Siemens per meter. Let’s know the value of conductivity of Mg.

The electrical conductivity of magnesium is 0.226×106 /cm ohm. It is the property of a magnesium that determines the rate of flow of current through it. The conductivity of magnesium is inversely related to the resistivity of the material.

Is magnesium a good conductor for electricity?

The matter is a good conductor for electricity if it is a metal and allows the flow of current. Lets us discuss whether magnesium is a good conductor or not.

Magnesium is not a good conductor of electricity compared to other metals because it is highly reactive with oxygen, nitrogen, and even carbon dioxide, which reduces its conducting properties. Hence it is regarded as not suitable for the conduction of electricity.

Why is magnesium a poor electric conductor than copper?

The metal is a poor conductor if the total flow of electric flux through its cross-section area is less. Let’s elaborate on why Mg is a poor conductor than Cu.

Magnesium is a poor conductor than copper because electrons dissociate more easily from copper than magnesium. The valence electrons of copper easily overcome the electrostatic force due to the wide hindrance of electrons from the atomic core, which is very less for the magnesium atom.

The copper has atomic number 29 and the valence electron 1, while the magnesium has 2 electrons in the valence shell. A single electron can easily dissociate from the metal.

Structure and Bonding of Magnesium

The structure and bonding of the metal depend upon the total number of electrons in its valence shell. Let us discuss the structure and bonding of Mg below.

  • Magnesium has a hexagonal close-packed structure with an atomic number of Mg is A=12.
  • The covalent radius of the magnesium is nearly 140 pm.
  • Magnesium can form ionic and covalent bonds.
  • Mg reacts easily with oxygen in the atmosphere, hence mostly present in the form of oxides.
Electronic Structure of Mg

The nucleus of an atom is shown in blue color, and the electrons are shown in red color, as shown in the atomic diagram above. Upon donating the two electrons, it acquires a +2 oxidation state, as shown in the diagram below.

Electronic Structure of ionized Mg

Properties of Magnesium

There are several physical and chemical properties of magnesium; those are observable and chemically determined. Let’s ponder upon the properties of magnesium below.

  • It is a lightweight metal, moderately hard, and found in the solid phase.
  • The melting point of the magnesium is 651o C, and the boiling point is 1100o C.
  • It is found mostly in the oxide form and reacts with oxygen easily at room temperature.
  • It captures the fire easily, giving white light.

Is magnesium a good conductor of heat and why?

The good conductors allow the flow of heat through them; let us talk further about whether magnesium is a good conductor of heat or not.

Magnesium is a good conductor of heat because it is a metal having two valence electrons, which make it a good conductor of heat and electricity. It allows the heat and electric flux to flow through it.

The free electrons of Mg grasp the heat and vibrate, increasing the temperature of the matter composed of magnesium.

Does magnesium oxide conduct electricity?

Any matter can conduct electricity if free electrons are available or if it dissociates ions. Let us analyze whether magnesium oxide conducts electricity.

The magnesium oxide does not conduct electricity because it is formed by sharing its two valence electrons with the oxygen atom having a deficiency of two electrons to complete its valence orbit; it has a neutral charge.

Does magnesium sulfate conduct electricity?

The two ions (cation & anion) combine to produce a single compound that neutralizes the net charge. Let us discuss if magnesium sulfate can conduct electricity.

The magnesium sulfate does not conduct electricity because there is no availability of electrons to conduct electricity in its ionic lattice structure. The oxidation state of sulfate is -2, which is neutralized by the magnesium ion. It dissociates into ions in an aqueous to conduct electricity.


We can conclude with this article that magnesium is metal and thus is a good conductor of electricity and heat. However, it is mostly in its ionic state and therefore does not conduct electricity. The conduction of electricity is possible in its aqueous form.


Hi, I’m Akshita Mapari. I have done M.Sc. in Physics. I have worked on projects like Numerical modeling of winds and waves during cyclone, Physics of toys and mechanized thrill machines in amusement park based on Classical Mechanics. I have pursued a course on Arduino and have accomplished some mini projects on Arduino UNO. I always like to explore new zones in the field of science. I personally believe that learning is more enthusiastic when learnt with creativity. Apart from this, I like to read, travel, strumming on guitar, identifying rocks and strata, photography and playing chess. Connect me on LinkedIn -

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