Silicon (Si)

By: Zack Vanderwende

Overview of Silicon

Silicon was discovered in 1824 by Jons Jakob Berzelius in Sweden. He discovered it by heating potassium and removing the residue from the product. Silicon has an atomic number of 14 and a mass number of 28. It is a solid at room temperature and it is used in many tools and machines. One compound (SiO2) is the most important compound as it is the most common in the earth's crust.

Uses of Silicon

Silicon has only 3 stable isotopes (28,29,30). From these three isotopes the only one majorly used is Si28. Silicon is commonly found in cylinder heads, computer chips, waterproof sealant, engine blocks, transformer plates, and yes, implants.
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Physical Properties

Silicon's atomic mass is 28 and it's atomic radius is 117.6 pm. The density of silicon is 2.33 grams per cubic centimeter. The melting point is 1,414 degrees Celsius and the boiling point is 2,900 degrees Celsius. Silicon is a solid and the luster is a metallic shine while silicon itself is like a rock with curves, cuts, and creases. Silicon has a relatively high conductivity as it is a semiconductor. Silicon has a very high hardness and it is not malleable in its solid state at room temperature.
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Above is a picture showing the luster of silicon and how it shines.

Chemical Properties

Silicon is flammable but only when ignited in the presence of oxygen. In addition silicon is reactive in certain circumstances. At very high temperatures, silicon reacts with oxygen and nitrogen.

Where did the name Silicon come from?

Silicon came from the word silicus, which means flint in Latin. Silicon comes from flint so the name actually makes sense.

Below is a picture of flint as it is one place where silicon is found.

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History of Silicon

In 1824, Jons Jacob Berzelius manually created silicon from potassium silicide. It was produced when he heated the potassium and pulled out the material which turned out to be silicon after he removed residue.
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Identification Information

Silicon has an atomic number of 14 and a mass number of 28. In silicon there is 14 protons, 14 neutrons, and 14 electrons. In the picture above you can notice the 14 dots surrounding the nucleus. It represents the electrons outside the nucleus.

Works Cited

Royal Society of Chemistry Peridoic Table:

Element Card: Gray, Theodore W. (2008). The Photographic Card Deck of the Elements.

- Elements Book: Gray, Theodore W. (2009). The Elements: A visual exploration of every known atom in the universe. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc.