Magnesium is a chemical element with symbol Mg and atomic number 12. Its common oxidation number is +2. It is an alkaline earth metal and the eighth most abundant element in the Earth's crust and ninth in the known universe as a whole. Magnesium is the fourth most common element in the Earth as a whole (behind iron, oxygen and silicon), making up 13% of the planet's mass and a large fraction of the planet's mantle. The relative abundance of magnesium is related to the fact that it is easily built up in supernova stars from a sequential addition of three helium nuclei to carbon (which in turn is made from three helium nuclei). Due to magnesium ion's high solubility in water, it is the third most abundant element dissolved in seawater.

The free element (metal) is not found naturally on Earth, as it is highly reactive (though once produced, it is coated in a thin layer of oxide (see passivation), which partly masks this reactivity). The free metal burns with a characteristic brilliant white light, making it a useful ingredient in flares. The metal is now mainly obtained by electrolysis of magnesium salts obtained from brine. Commercially, the chief use for the metal is as an alloying agent to make aluminium-magnesium alloys, sometimes called "magnalium" or "magnelium". Since magnesium is less dense than aluminium, these alloys are prized for their relative lightness and strength.

In human biology, magnesium is the eleventh most abundant element by mass in the human body; its ions are essential to all living cells, where they play a major role in manipulating important biological polyphosphate compounds like ATP, DNA, and RNA. Hundreds of enzymes thus require magnesium ions to function. Magnesium compounds are used medicinally as common laxatives, antacids (e.g., milk of magnesia), and in a number of situations where stabilization of abnormal nerve excitation and blood vessel spasm is required (e.g., to treat eclampsia). Magnesium ions are sour to the taste, and in low concentrations they help to impart a natural tartness to fresh mineral waters.

In vegetation magnesium is the metallic ion at the center of chlorophyll, and is thus a common additive to fertilizers.

Read more about MagnesiumHistory, Biological Role, Safety Precautions For Magnesium Metal

Other articles related to "magnesium":

Magnesium Responsive RNA Element
... The Magnesium responsive RNA element, not to be confused with the completely distinct M-box riboswitch, is a cis-regulatory element that regulates the ... The mechanism for the potential magnesium-sensing capacity of this RNA is still unclear, though a recent report suggests that the RNA element targets the mgtA transcript for ...
Magnesium Sulfite
... Magnesium sulfite is the magnesium salt of sulfurous acid with the formula MgSO 3 ... When heated above 40 °C (104 °F), it is dehydrated to magnesium sulfite trihydrate, or MgSO 3·3H 2O ...
Safety Precautions For Magnesium Metal
... Magnesium metal and its alloys are explosive hazards they are highly flammable in their pure form when molten or in powder or ribbon form ... Burning or molten magnesium metal reacts violently with water ... When working with powdered magnesium, safety glasses with welding eye protection are employed, because the bright white light produced by burning magnesium contains ultraviolet light that can ...
Semi-solid Metal Casting - Processes - Thixomolding
... For magnesium alloys, thixomolding uses a machine similar to injection molding ... In a single step process, room temperature magnesium alloy chips are fed into the back end of a heated barrel through a volumetric feeder ... an argon atmosphere to prevent oxidation of the magnesium chips ...
Low Valent Magnesium Compounds
... Two low valent magnesium compounds have been discovered that are the first examples of stable magnesium(I) compounds ... state and up to this point the ternary metal hydrides Mg2RuH4, Mg3RuH3, and Mg4IrH5 and magnesium diboride, MgB2 with short Mg-Mg bonds (293 pm, 303 pm ...