RUSS LAPPA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RUSS LAPPA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Magnesium, a silvery-white metallic element belonging to group II of the periodic table (the alkaline-earth metals). Magnesium is found in seawater and in a number of minerals, including magnesite, dolomite, and carnallite. Around 80% of commercially-produced magnesium metal is extracted from seawater. Magnesium alloys are extremely lightweight and are widely used where weight reduction is important (eg in the aerospace industry). Magnesium is highly reactive and burns with an intense white flame when ignited. It has the chemical symbol Mg and was first isolated by A. Bussy in 1828.
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