Show that metallic oxides are basic in nature

  Materials Required

Magnesium ribbon, distilled water, red and blue litmus papers, spirit lamp or burner, watch glass, and a pair of tongs. 


Real lab Procedure: 

  • Take about 5 cm of magnesium ribbon. Clean it properly with sandpaper if it is not shiny. 
  • Hold magnesium ribbon with the help of a pair of tongs. 
  • Bring the free end of the magnesium ribbon near the flame of the spirit lamp and let it burn  
  • Collect the powdery in a watch glass. 
  • Add a small amount of distilled water to the ash and stir it. 
  • Dip one by one blue and red litmus papers respectively in the solution and observe the change in colour of litmus. 

Procedure while using the simulator  

  • Click the knob to turn on the burner 
  • Drag and drop the pair of tones to pick the 5cm Magnesium ribbon 
  • Drag and drop the tongs with magnesium ribbon towards the burner 
  • Drag and drop the bottle to add water to the ash in the watch glass. 
  • Drag and drop the blue litmus paper onto the watch glass 

  Result and Discussion 

  • There is no change in the colour of the blue litmus paper. 
  • The red litmus paper turns blue. 


The magnesium oxide, after dissolving in water, shows basic character. 

On burning, magnesium forms magnesium oxide (ash); when this is dissolved in water, it forms magnesium hydroxide (basic). 

Magnesium + Oxygen (air) →   Magnesium oxide 

Magnesium oxide + Water →   Magnesium hydroxide 


  • It is dangerous to look at the burning magnesium ribbon continuously. 
  • If the magnesium ribbon is not shining, it may take a long time to ignite, so it is better to clean the ribbon with sandpaper. 
  • Avoid using a candle to burn magnesium ribbon.