Silicon

Atomic number: 14

Symbol: Si

Category: metalloid

Density at 25°C: solid,  2.70 g·cm−3

Silicon chips is what comes to mind here, hmmm chips.... Indeed that's a major component of silicon. Because silicon has interesting electrical conducting properties, in pure form it doesn't conduct very well but few little extra other elements and it can conduct. 

Almost all the silicon on Earth is held in minerals called silicates.


A chunk of silicon. image: adapted from wikipedia


Use, natural applications or common combinations: 

  • Computer chips, electronics
  • Alloys for making thin sections of steel.
  • present in many minerals
  • in some sea creatures called diatoms


Basic characteristics:

  • Standard atomic weight: [28.084; 28.086]
  • Melting point: 1414 °C
  • Boiling point: 3265 °C
  • Radioactivity: most are stable
    • 32Si with a half life of 135 years by beta decay to produce 32P