Silicon is a chemical element with the symbol Si. It has various industrial uses and is an essential biological element. Silicon is the eight most common element in the entire universe by mass. This article will discover who discovered silicon and also list eight cool facts about silicon.
Who Discovered Silicon
Way back in 1787, Antoine Lavoisier first identified silicon as a component of what we would now identify as a silicate. In 1800, Sir Humphry Davy mistakenly thought that silicon was not an element but a compound. Only in 1823 was the record set straight when the chemist Berzelius isolated silicon and properly identified it as an element. In 1824, Berzelius prepared amorphous silicon and purified the it by repeated washings. So now you know who discovered silicon and a little about the history of its proper identification. Now, let’s look at eight interesting (and slightly educational) facts about silicon.
Eight Facts about Silicon
Fact 1: Being in the same group as carbon, it has many of the same chemical properties. However, it is less reactive than carbon
Fact 2: Silicon is the second most abundant element, after oxygen, in the earths crust.
Fact 3: Silica and silicates are used in the production of glass, cement and ceramics.
Fact 4: Silicon is a semiconductor of electricity, even at high temperatures. This makes silicon a great choice for use in microchips.
Fact 5: Pure silicon (in its crystalline form) has a gray color.
Fact 6: Silicon is obtained by reacting silica at high temperatures (about 2000°C) with wood, coke and coal. The silicon produced is at least 98% pure if high-purity silica is used.
Fact 7: Due to its use in many high-tech devices and technologies, a high-tech region of California was named Silicon Valley.
Fact 8: Silicon is classified as a metalloid, which means it has some metallic and some non-metallic properties.