Magnesium Metal

Download the structure for interactive viewing

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  1. All of the atoms have the same atomic radius. What is the coordination number of any Mg atom in this structure?
  2. Orient the stucture so that you are looking down the c-axis. You should see a repetition of the Mg atoms along the a-axis. What is the stacking arrangement of the layers (ABCABC, or ABAB) along the a-axis? Is this a cubic close packed (CCP) or hexagonal close packed (HCP) structure?
  3. Looking down on the planes of atoms you see hexagonal rings connected to form a network.

    What happens if we rotate these planes? Remember to consider the atoms shown in this view as part of an infinite plane of atoms. Rotate the the structure 120°. Do similar atoms occupy exactly the same positions, or are they in a different arrangement? Try the same with a 90° and 180° rotation.