Magnesium is a metallic element that belongs to the alkaline earth metal group. It is a silvery-white metal and is fairly strong. Uses of magnesium include photography and fireworks, among others. It is also an essential nutrient in humans. Some magnesium compounds, such as magnesia, are used for its medical properties. Elemental magnesium was first isolated by Sir Humphrey Davy, a British chemist.
Magnesium is a highly reactive metal that burns hot and bright. In its elemental state, it is soft and quite malleable. It oxidizes quickly and freely, producing a thin layer of magnesium oxide, or magnesia. Magnesium oxide can also be produced by burning the metal.