Molybdenum is a Group 6 chemical element with the symbol Mo and atomic number 42.

The name is from Neo-Latin Molybdaenum, from Ancient Greek molybdos, meaning lead.

The free element, which is a silverymetal, has the sixth-highest melting point of any element.

It readily forms hard, stable carbides, and for this reason it is often used in high-strength steel alloys.

Molybdenum does not occur as a free metal on Earth, but rather in various oxidation states in minerals. Industrially, molybdenum compounds are used in high-pressure and high-temperature applications, as pigments and catalysts.

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