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Silicon (Si)

the second most common element in the Earth's crust, after oxygen

pure silicon

Silicon is a hard, dark gray element that makes up the major portion of clay, granite, quartz, and sand.

The name silicon comes from silex, or flint.

Swedish scientist Jöns J. Berzelius discovered silicon in 1823.

Chemical Properties

Silicon belongs to the Boron and Carbon Families of elements. Its atomic number is 14, and its atomic weight of 28.0855. It melts at 1,410° C and boils at 2,355°.


Silicon compounds have many uses. Silica (silicon dioxide) is a principal ingredient in glass. Silicon carbide, one of the hardest substances known, is used to grind and polish other materials. Pure silicon is used in the manufacture of transistors and other electronic components because, among other reasons, it withstands heat well and is relatively inexpensive.

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The Robinson Library >> Science >> Chemistry >> Chemical Elements

This page was last updated on 10/29/2017.