MAGNESIUM, Mg, = 24.

This metal is not found native, but may be isolated by decomposing its chloride with potassium or sodium. In combination it is widely diffused, a carbonate occurring in magnesite and limestone rocks, a sulphate and chloride in sea-water, in many mineral waters, and in almost all spring-water: a silicate forms talc, meerschaum, etc., and is present in small quantity in all soils, whence it passes (mainly as a phosphate) into plants and animals.

Characters

Magnesium is white, lustrous, hard, and very light (sp. gr. 1.74). It readily oxidizes, and when lighted burns with intense brilliancy.