Monday, April 16, 2012


Silica - quartz

Beautiful, isn't it!

This stuff is made in super giants up in the heavens.

Word silicon comes from the Latin silicis for flint. Silicon Valley gets it name from it for a very special reason (you are using some kind of a computer to read this page, are you not?)

Mineral Information Institute tells us about this mineral:

Silicon is the second most common element in the Earth's crust, comprising 25.7% of the Earth’s crust by weight. It was discovered in 1824 by the Swedish chemist Jons Jakob Berzelius. It is shiny, dark gray with a tint of blue.

Silicon, atomic number of 14, is a semi-metallic or metalloid, because it has several of the metallic characteristics.

Silicon is never found in its natural state, but rather in combination with oxygen as a silicate ion (SiO4) in silica-rich rocks such as obsidian, granite, diorite, and sandstone. Feldspar and quartz are the most significant silicate minerals.

Silicon alloys with a variety of metals, including iron, aluminum, copper, nickel, manganese and ferrochromium.

Silicon is considered a semiconductor. This means that it conducts electricity, but not as well as a metal such as copper or silver. This physical property makes silicon an important commodity in the computer manufacturing business.

Silicon compounds are the most significant component of the Earth’s crust.

Silicon is recovered from an abundant resource: sand.

Most pure sand is quartz, silicon dioxide (SiO2). Since sand is plentiful, easy to mine and relatively easy to process, it is the primary ore source of silicon. Some silicon is also retrieved from two other silicate minerals, talc and mica.

The metamorphic rock, quartzite, is another source (quartzite is metamorphosed sandstone). All combined, world resources of silicon are plentiful and will supply demand for many decades to come.
Mineral Information Institute

For many decades... ugh... that is not an astronomic expression...

So now we know that the crust of Earth is made of silicon produced under extreme conditions in Super giants.

And that Earth core is made of iron-nickel ... but from where the iron?

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