More Info: Joseph Black of Scotland discovered that magnesium is not the same as calcium carbonate and was indeed its own separate element. Sir Humphry Davy first isolated magnesium using electrolysis. He isolated magnesium from magnesium oxide and mercuric oxide in 1808. There was a third, Antoine Bussy, who isolated large amounts of magnesium in 1831.
Magnesium originally got its name from a Greek district in Thessaly called Magnesia. It is the seventh most abundant element in the Earth's crust by mass, and the eleventh most abundant element by mass in the human body. Magnesium is vital in at least 300 bodily processes, not the least of which is energy production and muscular contractions. Magnesium compounds have been used in the treatment of osteoporosis, kidney stones and constipation. Deficiencies of magnesium have been linked to diabetes, gastrointestinal disorder and PMS.
As a strong and light metal, magnesium is used in the manufacture of car and truck parts. It has been used in laptops, cell phones, cameras and other electronic components. It is quite flammable, which makes it perfect for use in fireworks and as a source of illumination in times of emergency. Because it is quite difficult to extinguish, magnesium was used in incendiary devices during wartime.