The streak of a mineral is the color of the powder produced when it is dragged across an un-weathered surface. Unlike the apparent color of a mineral, which for most minerals can vary the trail of finely ground powder has a more consistent characteristic color, is thus an important diagnostic tool in mineral identification. If no streak seems to be made, the mineral's streak is said to be colorless. Streak is important as a diagnostic for opaque and colored materials, it is less useful for silicate minerals, most of which have a white streak or are too hard to powder easily. The apparent color of a mineral can vary because of trace impurities or a disturbed macroscopic crystal structure. Small amounts of an impurity that absorbs a particular wavelength can radically change the wavelengths of light that are reflected by the specimen, thus change the apparent color. However, when the specimen is dragged to produce a streak, it is broken into randomly oriented microscopic crystals, small impurities do not affect the absorption of light.
The surface across which the mineral is dragged is called a "streak plate", is made of unglazed porcelain tile. In the absence of a streak plate, the unglazed underside of a porcelain bowl or vase or the back of a glazed tile will work. Sometimes a streak is more or described by comparing it with the "streak" made by another streak plate; because the trail left behind results from the mineral being crushed into powder, a streak can only be made of minerals softer than the streak plate, around 7 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. For harder minerals, the color of the powder can be determined by filing or crushing with a hammer a small sample, usually rubbed on a streak plate. Most minerals that are harder have an unhelpful white streak; some minerals leave a streak similar to their natural color, such as lazurite. Other minerals leave surprising colors, such as fluorite, which always has a white streak, although it can appear in purple, yellow, or green crystals. Hematite, black in appearance, leaves a red streak which accounts for its name, which comes from the Greek word "haima", meaning "blood."
Galena, which can be similar in appearance to hematite, is distinguished by its gray streak. Bishop, A. C.. R.. R.. Cambridge Guide to Minerals and Fossils. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp. 12–13. Holden, Martin; the Encyclopedia of Gemstones and Minerals. New York: Facts on File. p. 251. ISBN 1-56799-949-2. Schumann, Walter. Minerals of the World. New York: Sterling Publishing. Pp. 18–16. ISBN 0-00-219909-2. Physical Characteristics of Minerals, at Introduction to Mineralogy by Andrea Bangert What is Streak? from the Mineral Gallery
Calcium is a chemical element with symbol Ca and atomic number 20. As an alkaline earth metal, calcium is a reactive metal that forms a dark oxide-nitride layer when exposed to air, its physical and chemical properties are most similar to its heavier homologues strontium and barium. It is the fifth most abundant element in Earth's crust and the third most abundant metal, after iron and aluminium; the most common calcium compound on Earth is calcium carbonate, found in limestone and the fossilised remnants of early sea life. The name derives from Latin calx "lime", obtained from heating limestone; some calcium compounds were known to the ancients, though their chemistry was unknown until the seventeenth century. Pure calcium was isolated in 1808 via electrolysis of its oxide by Humphry Davy, who named the element. Calcium compounds are used in many industries: in foods and pharmaceuticals for calcium supplementation, in the paper industry as bleaches, as components in cement and electrical insulators, in the manufacture of soaps.
On the other hand, the metal in pure form has few applications due to its high reactivity. Calcium is the fifth-most abundant element in the human body; as electrolytes, calcium ions play a vital role in the physiological and biochemical processes of organisms and cells: in signal transduction pathways where they act as a second messenger. Calcium ions outside cells are important for maintaining the potential difference across excitable cell membranes as well as proper bone formation. Calcium is a ductile silvery metal whose properties are similar to the heavier elements in its group, strontium and radium. A calcium atom has twenty electrons, arranged in the electron configuration 4s2. Like the other elements placed in group 2 of the periodic table, calcium has two valence electrons in the outermost s-orbital, which are easily lost in chemical reactions to form a dipositive ion with the stable electron configuration of a noble gas, in this case argon. Hence, calcium is always divalent in its compounds, which are ionic.
Hypothetical univalent salts of calcium would be stable with respect to their elements, but not to disproportionation to the divalent salts and calcium metal, because the enthalpy of formation of MX2 is much higher than those of the hypothetical MX. This occurs because of the much greater lattice energy afforded by the more charged Ca2+ cation compared to the hypothetical Ca+ cation. Calcium, strontium and radium are always considered to be alkaline earth metals. Beryllium and magnesium are different from the other members of the group in their physical and chemical behaviour: they behave more like aluminium and zinc and have some of the weaker metallic character of the post-transition metals, why the traditional definition of the term "alkaline earth metal" excludes them; this classification is obsolete in English-language sources, but is still used in other countries such as Japan. As a result, comparisons with strontium and barium are more germane to calcium chemistry than comparisons with magnesium.
Calcium metal melts at 842 °C and boils at 1494 °C. It crystallises in the face-centered cubic arrangement like strontium, its density of 1.55 g/cm3 is the lowest in its group. Calcium can be cut with a knife with effort. While calcium is a poorer conductor of electricity than copper or aluminium by volume, it is a better conductor by mass than both due to its low density. While calcium is infeasible as a conductor for most terrestrial applications as it reacts with atmospheric oxygen, its use as such in space has been considered; the chemistry of calcium is that of a typical heavy alkaline earth metal. For example, calcium spontaneously reacts with water more than magnesium and less than strontium to produce calcium hydroxide and hydrogen gas, it reacts with the oxygen and nitrogen in the air to form a mixture of calcium oxide and calcium nitride. When finely divided, it spontaneously burns in air to produce the nitride. In bulk, calcium is less reactive: it forms a hydration coating in moist air, but below 30% relative humidity it may be stored indefinitely at room temperature.
Besides the simple oxide CaO, the peroxide CaO2 can be made by direct oxidation of calcium metal under a high pressure of oxygen, there is some evidence for a yellow superoxide Ca2. Calcium hydroxide, Ca2, is a strong base, though it is not as strong as the hydroxides of strontium, barium or the alkali metals. All four dihalides of calcium are known. Calcium carbonate and calcium sulfate are abundant minerals. Like strontium and barium, as well as the alkali metals and the divalent lanthanides europium and ytterbium, calcium metal dissolves directly in liquid ammonia to give a dark blue solution. Due to the large size of the Ca2+ ion, high coordination numbers are common, up to 24 in some intermetallic compounds such as CaZn13. Calcium is complexed by oxygen chelates such as EDTA and polyphosphates, which are useful in an
Aluminium or aluminum is a chemical element with symbol Al and atomic number 13. It is a silvery-white, soft and ductile metal in the boron group. By mass, aluminium makes up about 8% of the Earth's crust; the chief ore of aluminium is bauxite. Aluminium metal is so chemically reactive that native specimens are rare and limited to extreme reducing environments. Instead, it is found combined in over 270 different minerals. Aluminium is remarkable for its low density and its ability to resist corrosion through the phenomenon of passivation. Aluminium and its alloys are vital to the aerospace industry and important in transportation and building industries, such as building facades and window frames; the oxides and sulfates are the most useful compounds of aluminium. Despite its prevalence in the environment, no known form of life uses aluminium salts metabolically, but aluminium is well tolerated by plants and animals; because of these salts' abundance, the potential for a biological role for them is of continuing interest, studies continue.
Of aluminium isotopes, only 27Al is stable. This is consistent with aluminium having an odd atomic number, it is the only aluminium isotope that has existed on Earth in its current form since the creation of the planet. Nearly all the element on Earth is present as this isotope, which makes aluminium a mononuclidic element and means that its standard atomic weight equates to that of the isotope; the standard atomic weight of aluminium is low in comparison with many other metals, which has consequences for the element's properties. All other isotopes of aluminium are radioactive; the most stable of these is 26Al and therefore could not have survived since the formation of the planet. However, 26Al is produced from argon in the atmosphere by spallation caused by cosmic ray protons; the ratio of 26Al to 10Be has been used for radiodating of geological processes over 105 to 106 year time scales, in particular transport, sediment storage, burial times, erosion. Most meteorite scientists believe that the energy released by the decay of 26Al was responsible for the melting and differentiation of some asteroids after their formation 4.55 billion years ago.
The remaining isotopes of aluminium, with mass numbers ranging from 21 to 43, all have half-lives well under an hour. Three metastable states are known, all with half-lives under a minute. An aluminium atom has 13 electrons, arranged in an electron configuration of 3s23p1, with three electrons beyond a stable noble gas configuration. Accordingly, the combined first three ionization energies of aluminium are far lower than the fourth ionization energy alone. Aluminium can easily surrender its three outermost electrons in many chemical reactions; the electronegativity of aluminium is 1.61. A free aluminium atom has a radius of 143 pm. With the three outermost electrons removed, the radius shrinks to 39 pm for a 4-coordinated atom or 53.5 pm for a 6-coordinated atom. At standard temperature and pressure, aluminium atoms form a face-centered cubic crystal system bound by metallic bonding provided by atoms' outermost electrons; this crystal system is shared by some other metals, such as copper. Aluminium metal, when in quantity, is shiny and resembles silver because it preferentially absorbs far ultraviolet radiation while reflecting all visible light so it does not impart any color to reflected light, unlike the reflectance spectra of copper and gold.
Another important characteristic of aluminium is its low density, 2.70 g/cm3. Aluminium is a soft, lightweight and malleable with appearance ranging from silvery to dull gray, depending on the surface roughness, it is nonmagnetic and does not ignite. A fresh film of aluminium serves as a good reflector of visible light and an excellent reflector of medium and far infrared radiation; the yield strength of pure aluminium is 7–11 MPa, while aluminium alloys have yield strengths ranging from 200 MPa to 600 MPa. Aluminium has stiffness of steel, it is machined, cast and extruded. Aluminium atoms are arranged in a face-centered cubic structure. Aluminium has a stacking-fault energy of 200 mJ/m2. Aluminium is a good thermal and electrical conductor, having 59% the conductivity of copper, both thermal and electrical, while having only 30% of copper's density. Aluminium is capable of superconductivity, with a superconducting critical temperature of 1.2 kelvin and a critical magnetic field of about 100 gauss.
Aluminium is the most common material for the fabrication of superconducting qubits. Aluminium's corrosion resistance can be excellent due to a thin surface layer of aluminium oxide that forms when the bare metal is exposed to air preventing further oxidation, in a process termed passivation; the strongest aluminium alloys are less corrosion resistant due to galvanic reactions with alloyed copper. This corrosion resistance is reduced by aqueous salts in the presence of dissimilar metals. In acidic solutions, aluminium reacts with water to form hydrogen, in alkaline ones to form aluminates—protective passivation under these conditions is negligible; because it is corroded by dissolved chlorides, such as common sodium chloride, household plumbing is never made from aluminium. However, because
Oxygen is the chemical element with the symbol O and atomic number 8. It is a member of the chalcogen group on the periodic table, a reactive nonmetal, an oxidizing agent that forms oxides with most elements as well as with other compounds. By mass, oxygen is the third-most abundant element in the universe, after helium. At standard temperature and pressure, two atoms of the element bind to form dioxygen, a colorless and odorless diatomic gas with the formula O2. Diatomic oxygen gas constitutes 20.8% of the Earth's atmosphere. As compounds including oxides, the element makes up half of the Earth's crust. Dioxygen is used in cellular respiration and many major classes of organic molecules in living organisms contain oxygen, such as proteins, nucleic acids and fats, as do the major constituent inorganic compounds of animal shells and bone. Most of the mass of living organisms is oxygen as a component of water, the major constituent of lifeforms. Oxygen is continuously replenished in Earth's atmosphere by photosynthesis, which uses the energy of sunlight to produce oxygen from water and carbon dioxide.
Oxygen is too chemically reactive to remain a free element in air without being continuously replenished by the photosynthetic action of living organisms. Another form of oxygen, ozone absorbs ultraviolet UVB radiation and the high-altitude ozone layer helps protect the biosphere from ultraviolet radiation. However, ozone present at the surface is a byproduct of thus a pollutant. Oxygen was isolated by Michael Sendivogius before 1604, but it is believed that the element was discovered independently by Carl Wilhelm Scheele, in Uppsala, in 1773 or earlier, Joseph Priestley in Wiltshire, in 1774. Priority is given for Priestley because his work was published first. Priestley, called oxygen "dephlogisticated air", did not recognize it as a chemical element; the name oxygen was coined in 1777 by Antoine Lavoisier, who first recognized oxygen as a chemical element and characterized the role it plays in combustion. Common uses of oxygen include production of steel and textiles, brazing and cutting of steels and other metals, rocket propellant, oxygen therapy, life support systems in aircraft, submarines and diving.
One of the first known experiments on the relationship between combustion and air was conducted by the 2nd century BCE Greek writer on mechanics, Philo of Byzantium. In his work Pneumatica, Philo observed that inverting a vessel over a burning candle and surrounding the vessel's neck with water resulted in some water rising into the neck. Philo incorrectly surmised that parts of the air in the vessel were converted into the classical element fire and thus were able to escape through pores in the glass. Many centuries Leonardo da Vinci built on Philo's work by observing that a portion of air is consumed during combustion and respiration. In the late 17th century, Robert Boyle proved. English chemist John Mayow refined this work by showing that fire requires only a part of air that he called spiritus nitroaereus. In one experiment, he found that placing either a mouse or a lit candle in a closed container over water caused the water to rise and replace one-fourteenth of the air's volume before extinguishing the subjects.
From this he surmised that nitroaereus is consumed in both combustion. Mayow observed that antimony increased in weight when heated, inferred that the nitroaereus must have combined with it, he thought that the lungs separate nitroaereus from air and pass it into the blood and that animal heat and muscle movement result from the reaction of nitroaereus with certain substances in the body. Accounts of these and other experiments and ideas were published in 1668 in his work Tractatus duo in the tract "De respiratione". Robert Hooke, Ole Borch, Mikhail Lomonosov, Pierre Bayen all produced oxygen in experiments in the 17th and the 18th century but none of them recognized it as a chemical element; this may have been in part due to the prevalence of the philosophy of combustion and corrosion called the phlogiston theory, the favored explanation of those processes. Established in 1667 by the German alchemist J. J. Becher, modified by the chemist Georg Ernst Stahl by 1731, phlogiston theory stated that all combustible materials were made of two parts.
One part, called phlogiston, was given off when the substance containing it was burned, while the dephlogisticated part was thought to be its true form, or calx. Combustible materials that leave little residue, such as wood or coal, were thought to be made of phlogiston. Air did not play a role in phlogiston theory, nor were any initial quantitative experiments conducted to test the idea. Polish alchemist and physician Michael Sendivogius in his work De Lapide Philosophorum Tractatus duodecim e naturae fonte et manuali experientia depromti described a substance contained in air, referring to it as'cibus vitae', this substance is identical with oxygen. Sendivogius, during his experiments performed between 1598 and 1604, properly recognized that the substance is equivalent to the gaseous byproduct released by the thermal decomposition of potassium nitrate. In Bugaj’s view, the isolation of oxygen and the proper association of the substance to that part of air, required for life, lends sufficient weight to the discovery of oxygen by Sendivogius.
Carbon is a chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6. It is nonmetallic and tetravalent—making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds, it belongs to group 14 of the periodic table. Three isotopes occur 12C and 13C being stable, while 14C is a radionuclide, decaying with a half-life of about 5,730 years. Carbon is one of the few elements known since antiquity. Carbon is the 15th most abundant element in the Earth's crust, the fourth most abundant element in the universe by mass after hydrogen and oxygen. Carbon's abundance, its unique diversity of organic compounds, its unusual ability to form polymers at the temperatures encountered on Earth enables this element to serve as a common element of all known life, it is the second most abundant element in the human body by mass after oxygen. The atoms of carbon can bond together in different ways, termed allotropes of carbon; the best known are graphite and amorphous carbon. The physical properties of carbon vary with the allotropic form.
For example, graphite is opaque and black while diamond is transparent. Graphite is soft enough to form a streak on paper, while diamond is the hardest occurring material known. Graphite is a good electrical conductor. Under normal conditions, carbon nanotubes, graphene have the highest thermal conductivities of all known materials. All carbon allotropes are solids under normal conditions, with graphite being the most thermodynamically stable form at standard temperature and pressure, they are chemically resistant and require high temperature to react with oxygen. The most common oxidation state of carbon in inorganic compounds is +4, while +2 is found in carbon monoxide and transition metal carbonyl complexes; the largest sources of inorganic carbon are limestones and carbon dioxide, but significant quantities occur in organic deposits of coal, peat and methane clathrates. Carbon forms a vast number of compounds, more than any other element, with ten million compounds described to date, yet that number is but a fraction of the number of theoretically possible compounds under standard conditions.
For this reason, carbon has been referred to as the "king of the elements". The allotropes of carbon include graphite, one of the softest known substances, diamond, the hardest occurring substance, it bonds with other small atoms, including other carbon atoms, is capable of forming multiple stable covalent bonds with suitable multivalent atoms. Carbon is known to form ten million different compounds, a large majority of all chemical compounds. Carbon has the highest sublimation point of all elements. At atmospheric pressure it has no melting point, as its triple point is at 10.8±0.2 MPa and 4,600 ± 300 K, so it sublimes at about 3,900 K. Graphite is much more reactive than diamond at standard conditions, despite being more thermodynamically stable, as its delocalised pi system is much more vulnerable to attack. For example, graphite can be oxidised by hot concentrated nitric acid at standard conditions to mellitic acid, C66, which preserves the hexagonal units of graphite while breaking up the larger structure.
Carbon sublimes in a carbon arc, which has a temperature of about 5800 K. Thus, irrespective of its allotropic form, carbon remains solid at higher temperatures than the highest-melting-point metals such as tungsten or rhenium. Although thermodynamically prone to oxidation, carbon resists oxidation more than elements such as iron and copper, which are weaker reducing agents at room temperature. Carbon is the sixth element, with a ground-state electron configuration of 1s22s22p2, of which the four outer electrons are valence electrons, its first four ionisation energies, 1086.5, 2352.6, 4620.5 and 6222.7 kJ/mol, are much higher than those of the heavier group-14 elements. The electronegativity of carbon is 2.5 higher than the heavier group-14 elements, but close to most of the nearby nonmetals, as well as some of the second- and third-row transition metals. Carbon's covalent radii are taken as 77.2 pm, 66.7 pm and 60.3 pm, although these may vary depending on coordination number and what the carbon is bonded to.
In general, covalent radius decreases with higher bond order. Carbon compounds form the basis of all known life on Earth, the carbon–nitrogen cycle provides some of the energy produced by the Sun and other stars. Although it forms an extraordinary variety of compounds, most forms of carbon are comparatively unreactive under normal conditions. At standard temperature and pressure, it resists all but the strongest oxidizers, it does not react with hydrochloric acid, chlorine or any alkalis. At elevated temperatures, carbon reacts with oxygen to form carbon oxides and will rob oxygen from metal oxides to leave the elemental metal; this exothermic reaction is used in the iron and steel industry to smelt iron and to control the carbon content of steel: Fe3O4 + 4 C → 3 Fe + 4 COCarbon monoxide can be recycled to smelt more iron: Fe3O4 + 4 CO → 3 Fe + 4 CO2with sulfur to form carbon disulfide and with steam in the coal-gas reaction: C + H2O → CO + H2. Carbon combines with some metals at high temperatures to form metallic carbides, such as the iron carbide cementite in steel and tungsten carbide used as an abrasive and for making hard tips for cutting tools.
The system of carbon allotropes spans a range of extremes: Atomic carbon is a ver
In crystallography, the terms crystal system, crystal family, lattice system each refer to one of several classes of space groups, point groups, or crystals. Informally, two crystals are in the same crystal system if they have similar symmetries, although there are many exceptions to this. Crystal systems, crystal families and lattice systems are similar but different, there is widespread confusion between them: in particular the trigonal crystal system is confused with the rhombohedral lattice system, the term "crystal system" is sometimes used to mean "lattice system" or "crystal family". Space groups and crystals are divided into seven crystal systems according to their point groups, into seven lattice systems according to their Bravais lattices. Five of the crystal systems are the same as five of the lattice systems, but the hexagonal and trigonal crystal systems differ from the hexagonal and rhombohedral lattice systems; the six crystal families are formed by combining the hexagonal and trigonal crystal systems into one hexagonal family, in order to eliminate this confusion.
A lattice system is a class of lattices with the same set of lattice point groups, which are subgroups of the arithmetic crystal classes. The 14 Bravais lattices are grouped into seven lattice systems: triclinic, orthorhombic, rhombohedral and cubic. In a crystal system, a set of point groups and their corresponding space groups are assigned to a lattice system. Of the 32 point groups that exist in three dimensions, most are assigned to only one lattice system, in which case both the crystal and lattice systems have the same name. However, five point groups are assigned to two lattice systems and hexagonal, because both exhibit threefold rotational symmetry; these point groups are assigned to the trigonal crystal system. In total there are seven crystal systems: triclinic, orthorhombic, trigonal and cubic. A crystal family is determined by lattices and point groups, it is formed by combining crystal systems which have space groups assigned to a common lattice system. In three dimensions, the crystal families and systems are identical, except the hexagonal and trigonal crystal systems, which are combined into one hexagonal crystal family.
In total there are six crystal families: triclinic, orthorhombic, tetragonal and cubic. Spaces with less than three dimensions have the same number of crystal systems, crystal families and lattice systems. In one-dimensional space, there is one crystal system. In 2D space, there are four crystal systems: oblique, rectangular and hexagonal; the relation between three-dimensional crystal families, crystal systems and lattice systems is shown in the following table: Note: there is no "trigonal" lattice system. To avoid confusion of terminology, the term "trigonal lattice" is not used; the 7 crystal systems consist of 32 crystal classes as shown in the following table: The point symmetry of a structure can be further described as follows. Consider the points that make up the structure, reflect them all through a single point, so that becomes; this is the'inverted structure'. If the original structure and inverted structure are identical the structure is centrosymmetric. Otherwise it is non-centrosymmetric.
Still in the non-centrosymmetric case, the inverted structure can in some cases be rotated to align with the original structure. This is a non-centrosymmetric achiral structure. If the inverted structure cannot be rotated to align with the original structure the structure is chiral or enantiomorphic and its symmetry group is enantiomorphic. A direction is called polar if its two directional senses are physically different. A symmetry direction of a crystal, polar is called a polar axis. Groups containing a polar axis are called polar. A polar crystal possesses a unique polar axis; some geometrical or physical property is different at the two ends of this axis: for example, there might develop a dielectric polarization as in pyroelectric crystals. A polar axis can occur only in non-centrosymmetric structures. There cannot be a mirror plane or twofold axis perpendicular to the polar axis, because they would make the two directions of the axis equivalent; the crystal structures of chiral biological molecules can only occur in the 65 enantiomorphic space groups.
The distribution of the 14 Bravais lattices into lattice systems and crystal families is given in the following table. In geometry and crystallography, a Bravais lattice is a category of translative symmetry groups in three directions; such symmetry groups consist of translations by vectors of the form R = n1a1 + n2a2 + n3a3,where n1, n2, n3 are integers and a1, a2, a3 are three non-coplanar vectors, called primitive vectors. These lattices are classified by the space group of the lattice itself, viewed as a collection of points, they represent the maximum symmetry. All crystalline materials must, by definition, fit into one of these arrangements. For convenience a Bravais lattice is depicted by a unit cell, a factor 1, 2, 3 or 4 larger than the primitive cell. Depending on the symmetry of a crystal or other pattern, the fundamental domain is again smaller, up to a factor 48; the Bravais lattices were studied by Moritz Ludwig Frankenheim in 1842, who found that there we
Silicon is a chemical element with symbol Si and atomic number 14. It is a brittle crystalline solid with a blue-grey metallic lustre, it is a member of group 14 in the periodic table: carbon is above it. It is unreactive; because of its high chemical affinity for oxygen, it was not until 1823 that Jöns Jakob Berzelius was first able to prepare it and characterize it in pure form. Its melting and boiling points of 1414 °C and 3265 °C are the second-highest among all the metalloids and nonmetals, being only surpassed by boron. Silicon is the eighth most common element in the universe by mass, but rarely occurs as the pure element in the Earth's crust, it is most distributed in dusts, sands and planets as various forms of silicon dioxide or silicates. More than 90% of the Earth's crust is composed of silicate minerals, making silicon the second most abundant element in the Earth's crust after oxygen. Most silicon is used commercially without being separated, with little processing of the natural minerals.
Such use includes industrial construction with clays, silica sand, stone. Silicates are used in Portland cement for mortar and stucco, mixed with silica sand and gravel to make concrete for walkways and roads, they are used in whiteware ceramics such as porcelain, in traditional quartz-based soda-lime glass and many other specialty glasses. Silicon compounds such as silicon carbide are used as abrasives and components of high-strength ceramics. Silicon is the basis of the used synthetic polymers called silicones. Elemental silicon has a large impact on the modern world economy. Most free silicon is used in the steel refining, aluminium-casting, fine chemical industries. More visibly, the small portion of highly purified elemental silicon used in semiconductor electronics is essential to integrated circuits – most computers, cell phones, modern technology depend on it. Silicon is an essential element in biology. However, various sea sponges and microorganisms, such as diatoms and radiolaria, secrete skeletal structures made of silica.
Silica is deposited in many plant tissues. In 1787 Antoine Lavoisier suspected that silica might be an oxide of a fundamental chemical element, but the chemical affinity of silicon for oxygen is high enough that he had no means to reduce the oxide and isolate the element. After an attempt to isolate silicon in 1808, Sir Humphry Davy proposed the name "silicium" for silicon, from the Latin silex, silicis for flint, adding the "-ium" ending because he believed it to be a metal. Most other languages use transliterated forms of Davy's name, sometimes adapted to local phonology. A few others use instead a calque of the Latin root. Gay-Lussac and Thénard are thought to have prepared impure amorphous silicon in 1811, through the heating of isolated potassium metal with silicon tetrafluoride, but they did not purify and characterize the product, nor identify it as a new element. Silicon was given its present name in 1817 by Scottish chemist Thomas Thomson, he retained part of Davy's name but added "-on" because he believed that silicon was a nonmetal similar to boron and carbon.
In 1823, Jöns Jacob Berzelius prepared amorphous silicon using the same method as Gay-Lussac, but purifying the product to a brown powder by washing it. As a result, he is given credit for the element's discovery; the same year, Berzelius became the first to prepare silicon tetrachloride. Silicon in its more common crystalline form was not prepared until 31 years by Deville. By electrolyzing a mixture of sodium chloride and aluminium chloride containing 10% silicon, he was able to obtain a impure allotrope of silicon in 1854. More cost-effective methods have been developed to isolate several allotrope forms, the most recent being silicene in 2010. Meanwhile, research on the chemistry of silicon continued; the first organosilicon compound, was synthesised by Charles Friedel and James Crafts in 1863, but detailed characterisation of organosilicon chemistry was only done in the early 20th century by Frederic Kipping. Starting in the 1920s, the work of William Lawrence Bragg on X-ray crystallography elucidated the compositions of the silicates, known from analytical chemistry but had not yet been understood, together with Linus Pauling's development of crystal chemistry and Victor Goldschmidt's development of geochemistry.
The middle of the 20th century saw the development of the chemistry and industrial use of siloxanes and the growing use of silicone polymers and resins. In the late 20th century, the complexity of the crystal chemistry of silicides was mapped, along with the solid-state chemistry of doped semiconductors; because silicon is an important element in high-technology semiconductor devi