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Magnesium is the twelfth element on the periodic table. It is located in the second group called the alkaline earth metals. Natural magnesium contains three different isotopes, and there are twelve others that are recognized. Seawater is a rich source of magnesium in the form of salt. Magnesium is the eighth most abundant element in the earth's crust.
Magnesium readily ignites upon heating in air and burns with a dazzling white flame. To extinguish the flame water should not be used. Alkaline earth metal salts in general, are less soluble in water than the corresponding alkali metal salts. Some are even so insoluble that they resist weathering and leaching action in rainwater. Alkaline earth metals are extracted from the mineral ores like they have been for many decades. This second group of metals is also less reactive than the alkali metals. They do not need to have a specific storage procedure like that of the corresponding elements. These alkaline metals react with acids, and in certain temperatures of water. They are also harder than their alkali friends. In general, they have a gray-white luster that tarnishes quickly in the air to form a tough, thin oxide coating. The coating protects the metal, particularly magnesium, from further oxidation. This allows alloys of these metals to be used as low-density structural materials.
Magnesium is one of the two most important alkaline earth metals. It is found in seawater. Today, though it is chiefly produced by electrolysis of fused magnesium chloride.
It has many uses. Magnesium is an important material that is a chief component in a number of high-tensile-strength, low-density alloys. These properties allow the alloy to be very valuable in air and spacecraft construction. Also, the alloyed metal is used to make a large variety of other products, such as, artificial limbs, vacuum cleaners, optical instruments, recreational skis, wheelbarrows, lawn mowers, and outdoor furniture.
Magnesium is also found in asbestos. Asbestos was used in insulating materials up until it was found to cause cancer and other types of lung diseases. The unalloyed metal of magnesium is used in photographic flashlight powders, incendiary bombs, and signal flares.
This special element also has many important roles in the body. The most vital need for it is on the cellular level. It is as important as calcium, and is found in bone...

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... nuts, pecans, and cashews contain some of the highest amounts of the element from edible nuts. Many types of fish contain the element too, specifically salmon.
Also fruits such as dried apricots or avocados hold the element well. Eating these foods proves to be beneficial to the body in the ways already stated and many more in the long run. As you can see, magnesium is a special element that is extremely useful in our lives.
We come across every day, completely unaware that it is there or even what it is. Most elements are like that though, never thanked or recognized for the important roles they play in our world today. Life without elements wouldn't be life at all. Without elements, such as magnesium, we would find ourselves without many of the conveniences and advancements in civilization that are currently available to us. Society, as a whole, (not just chemistry students) should learn more about these elements and appreciate all that they have given them for without them, life wouldn't be the same. With new advances in space exploration and more experimental research, we are sure to find many more elements which will make the life to come almost an effortless exsistance.
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