A light silver-white metallic element, malleable and ductile, quite permanent in dry air but tarnishing in moist air. It burns, forming (the oxide) magnesia, with the production of a blinding light (the so-called magnesium light) which is used in signaling, in pyrotechny, or in photography where a strong actinic illuminant is required. Its compounds occur abundantly, as in dolomite, talc, meerschaum, etc. Symbol Mg. Atomic weight, 24.4. Specific gravity, 1.75.
- A light, silvery-white, moderately hard metallic element that in ribbon or powder form burns with a brilliant white flame. It is used in structural alloys, pyrotechnics, flash photography, and incendiary bombs. Atomic number 12; atomic weight 24.305; melting point 649°C; boiling point 1,090°C; specific gravity 1.74 (at 20°C); valence 2. See Table at element.