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Molybdenum, chemical element, symbol Mo; for physical constants see Periodic Table. Molybdenum was discovered by Karl Scheele in 1778. It occurs in nature in the minerals wulfenite and powellite and is obtained principally from molybdenite, a sulfide. Molybdenum is a silvery-white, hard, ductile, unreactive, metal. It is a valuable alloying agent for steels and for nickel-based, heat-resistant, and corrosion-resistant alloys. Molybdenum and its compounds are used in nuclear energy applications, missile and aircraft parts, ultra-high-strength steels, high-temperature lubricants, and as catalysts.

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