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What the name means: The name silicon originates from the Latin words silex and silicis, used to describe a hard mineral, such as flint. When it was first isolated as an element in 1824, it was given the name silicium for a short time because it was thought to be a metal. Its name was changed to silicon once chemists realised that it shared more properties with carbon than any of the metals.
Who identified slicon?: Antoine Lavoisier was probably the first chemist to recognise silicon as an element in 1787. Silicon was isolated in an impure form by Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac and Louis Jacques Thénard in 1811, but it was Jöns Jakob Berzelius, in 1824, who succeeded in isolation pure silicon from a mineral called flint.
STP = standard temperature and pressure.
About slicon: It is the major component of many of the different rocks and minerals found in the Earth's crust and that makes silicon the second most common element found in the Earth. Silicon does not exist separately as an element in nature but it is abundant as silica (a compound of silicon and oxygen) and silicates (compounds made from silicon, oxygen and a metal, such as aluminium and iron). Sand, granite, quartz and opal are all forms of silica. Mica and clay contain silicates.
Silicon is very important in the "High Tech" industry since it is used to control the electric current in components used for making computers and other digital hardware. The area in California where many of these components are made and assembled is called Silicon Valley.
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