As we move across the third row of the periodic table
, we find magnesium (Mg) in the number two position. Humans have used magnesium, like many other simple elements, for hundreds of years. It wasn't until 1808 that a chemist named Davy isolated and purified the metal. The reason it took so long to isolate magnesium is that it is always found bonded
to other elements in nature.
Located in the second column of the periodic table, magnesium is in the family of alkaline earth metals
with calcium (Ca) and beryllium
(Be). When purified, magnesium is a very light and silvery metal. Its lightness makes it perfect for use in many other metal alloys
to increase strength without increasing the weight of the structure. Magnesium is also an important element in your diet. Both you and plants need magnesium to live and be healthy. It is called a trace metal. Plants use magnesium to build chlorophyll
Where can you find magnesium?
Scientist use magnesium in medicine. The next time you are at the doctor and they want you to take a pill... Ask them if there is magnesium inside!
Magnesium is a very important element to plants. When you see anything that is green on a plant it's because of magnesium. Magnesium is needed to make something called chlorophyll. Chlorophyll makes plants green.
Camera Flash Bulbs
Magnesium is used in flash bulbs. When magnesium burns it makes a very bright, white light. Photographers use that white light to help them work in the dark.