Group 2 consists of the alkaline earth metals. In addition to magnesium, it includes beryllium, calcium, radium, strontium and barium.
The origin of this element’s name is the word "magnesia," which refers to a city in Ancient Greece where it was first discovered. Magnesium has a whitish-silver color and is a very light metal.
Although magnesium does not exist freely in nature, it is present in the planet's crust and in different mineral compounds like dolomite and carnallite. It is also present in seawater and oceans.
Magnesium is commonly used as an alloy with other metals, as well as in pyrotechnics, refractories and the manufacture of aircraft. Compounds like magnesium carbonate also are useful for producing paints.Learn more about Chemistry