Magnesium is a chemical element with the symbol Mg, atomic number 12, atomic weight 24.3050 and common oxidation number.
Magnesium metal is an alkaline earth metal that has the symbol Mg in the periodic table of elements. Magnesium metal is a fairly strong, silvery-white, light-weight metal (one third lighter than aluminum) that slightly tarnishes when exposed to air. In a powder, this metal heats and ignites when exposed to moisture and burns with a white flame. It is difficult to ignite in bulk, though it is easy to light if it is shaved into thin strips. Once ignited, it is difficult to extinguish.
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Manganese is an important alloying agent. It is added to improve the strength, toughness, stiffness, hardness, wear resistance, and hardenability of steels. Together with aluminum and antimony, especially in the presence of copper, it forms highly ferromagnetic alloys. Manganese dioxide is used as a depolarizer in dry cells and as a decolorizing agent for glass that has been colored green due to iron impurities. The dioxide is also used in drying black paints and in the preparation of oxygen and chlorine. Manganese colors glass an amethyst color and is the coloring agent in natural amethyst. The permanganate is used as an oxidizing agent and is useful for qualitative analysis and in medicine. Manganese is an important trace element in nutrition, although exposure to the element is toxic in higher quantities.