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  • noun a non-metallic chemical element occurring in several forms (principally sand and rock), used in the manufacture of glass and steel (as well as transistors etc.)


  • A metallic element used mainly as an alloying agent but used in pure form in electrical rectifiers.


  • A nonmetallic chemical element whose atomic number is 14, and which has two allotropic forms. One form is a brown powder, and the other consists of dark gray crystals with a bluish tinge. Silicon is very common in nature, comprising about 25% of the earth's crust by weight, and is usually found in the form of silicon dioxide. It has over 15 known isotopes, of which 3 are stable. It is used extensively in semiconductors such as transistors, diodes, rectifiers, and photocells, as an alloying agent, and in optics. Its chemical symbol is Si.
  • chemical symbolSi

Origin & History of “silicon”

Silicon was coined in 1817 by the British chemist Thomas Thomson. like the slightly earlier silica, it was based on Latin silex ‘flint’. From the same source comes silicone, which dates from the 1860s.