Q:

What are some interesting facts about silicon?

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Quick Answer

Silicon is the seventh most abundant element in the universe and is classified as a metalloid. Its atomic symbol is Si, and its atomic number is 14. Silicon is a solid at room temperature.

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Full Answer

Silicon is the second most common element on Earth. Silicon is the primary component of sand, and because it is so common, it is found in many products that people use every day. Silicon is used in glass, oven mitts and breast implants. Since silicon can be made into either an electrical conductor or an insulator, it is used in computer chips and solar energy panels. Silicon was discovered in 1824 by a Swedish chemist named Jöns Jacob Berzelius.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Is silicon a metal or nonmetal?

    A:

    Silicon is a metalloid, which means it is a type of metal but has some nonmetal qualities depending on what element it is reacting with. An example of this would be the fact that silicon is not a good conductor of electricity.

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  • Q:

    Is silicon dangerous?

    A:

    Although elemental silicon is inert and not inherently dangerous, certain processed forms of the element can cause negative health effects. Crystalline silicon irritates the eyes and causes skin inflammation on contact, while inhalation of the substance aggravates the mucous membranes of the respiratory system.

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  • Q:

    What are some interesting facts about hydrogen?

    A:

    Hydrogen is the lightest, simplest, and most abundant element in the universe, but it is very scarce on Earth in its elemental form. Hydrogen fusion is the phenomenon that powers most stars, and is also a potential source of energy for generating electricity on Earth.

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  • Q:

    What is the history of sulfur?

    A:

    People first became aware of sulfur's presence in the universe during ancient times, and Antoine Lavoisier convinced the scientific community to recognize sulfur officially as an element around 1777. Genesis in the Bible refers to sulfur as brimstone. Assyrian texts produced between 700 and 600 B.C. describe sulfur as a "product of the riverside," as there were deposits of the element near rivers. Sulfur played a role in the invention of gunpowder, which contains sulfur, carbon and potassium nitrate.

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