How to magnetize magnesium
Wear protective gloves, eyewear, and a mask. Perform this experiment in a well-ventilated area.
Reagents and equipment
- magnesium shavings;
- neodymium magnet;
- Petri dish;
- 20 mL 10% iron(II) sulfate solution.
Sprinkle magnesium shavings around the edges of a Petri dish, then place the Petri dish on a neodymium magnet. Magnesium by itself isn’t attracted to magnets. However, with the addition of 20 mL of 10% iron(II) sulfate solution, we can observe a tumultuous reaction and the magnesium shavings’ newfound attraction to the magnet!
When the magnesium interacts with the iron(II) sulfate solution, metallic iron precipitates on the surface of the magnesium shavings. Iron, unlike magnesium, has magnetic properties.
Mg + FeSO₄ = MgSO₄ + Fe