ASTRID & HANNS-FRIEDER MICHLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ASTRID & HANNS-FRIEDER MICHLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Silicon. View of pieces of silicon, a semi- metallic chemical element. Silicon belongs to group IV of the periodic table. It has the chemical symbol Si, an atomic number of 14 and an atomic weight of 28.086. Silicon is most familiar as a major component of microelectronic devices, known popularly as 'silicon chips'. It is also used in glass manufacture and as a strengthening alloy in steel. Silicon does not occur in the free elemental state. However, in the dioxide form, SiO2, it forms the most common mineral on Earth, quartz. Quartz has many varieties such as camelian, flint and jasper.
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