One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The chemical element of atomic number 14, a non-metal with semiconducting properties, used in making electronic circuits. Pure silicon exists in a shiny dark grey crystalline form and as an amorphous powder.
- ‘As silicon doesn't conduct electricity, impurities are added so it becomes a conductor.’
- ‘The most common technology for harvesting energy from sunlight is the photovoltaic cell based on silicon.’
- ‘Diamond behaves like silicon when you place it at very high temperatures and pressures.’
- ‘Silicosis is caused when silicon, fine particles of rock, enters the lungs and cuts lung tissue.’
- ‘Normally silicon does not emit light as it has an indirect energy band gap.’
Early 19th century: alteration of earlier silicium, from Latin silex, silic- ‘flint’, on the pattern of carbon and boron.
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