Chemical Element: silicon

(Modern Latin: from Latin, silex, silicis, "flint"; nonmetal)

Chemical-Element Information

Symbol: Si
Atomic number: 14
Year discovered: 1824

Discovered by: Baron Jöns Jakob Berzelius (1779-1848), a Swedish chemist, who devised chemical symbols, determined atomic weights, contributed to the atomic theory, and discovered several new elements.

  • Silicon is found in measurable amounts in practically every rock, in all natural waters, in sand, in glass, in the atmosphere (as siliceous dust), in many plants and in the skeletons, tissues, and in the body fluids of some animals.
  • It holds on to other atoms so tightly that it is not easy to isolate.
  • It is never found in a free state, but always in combination either with oxygen as silica, or with oxygen and aluminum, magnesium, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, and other elements in the numerous silicate materials which comprise rocks, soils, and clays.

Name in other languages:

French: silicium

German: Silicium

Italian: silicio

Spanish: silicio

Information about other elements may be seen at this Chemical Elements List.

A special unit about words that include chemo-, chem- may be seen here.