• Ian Baker


You may have encountered magnesium not as the metal but as milk of magnesia, which is a suspension of magnesia or magnesium oxide (Mg(OH)2) in water, in which it is insoluble. It is taken for various digestive tract ills. You may also have encountered it in medicinal Epsom salts, named after Epsom in Surrey, England, which is magnesium sulfate (MgSO4). If you are a car enthusiast, you will have heard of Mag Alloy wheels. Magnesium alloys were the first materials to be used for die cast wheels since they are very lightweight compared to steel, and, thus, have a high specific strength and a high damping capacity. They were first produced in the 1930s but were largely superseded by aluminum wheels in the 1960s apart from in the competitive racing market. If you are reading this in a car or on a plane, you may well be sitting on a seat whose frame is made of magnesium.


  1. 1.
    Chaline, E. (2012). Fifty minerals that changed the course of history. Buffalo: Firefly Books Ltd.Google Scholar

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian Baker
    • 1
  1. 1.Thayer School of EngineeringDartmouth CollegeHanoverUSA

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