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CARLOS CLARIVAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CARLOS CLARIVAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Diagram of the nuclear composition, electron configuration, and valence orbitals of an atom of magnesium-24 (atomic number: , the most common isotope of this element. The nucleus consists of, vital for cellular function, is an alkaline earth metal in group 2, period 3, and the s-block of the periodic table. In elemental form, it is a reactive metal that burns fiercely when heated in air.
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