Next time you step onto the beach, bend down, grab a handful of sand and admire the fact: By mass 47% of what you hold in your hand is the element silicon. The rest is simply oxygen. Remarkable!
Silicon is the second most abundant element in the earth’s crust (27.7%) – only oxygen beats it – and can easily be extracted from white sand (SiO2) in a spectacular reaction in the school science laboratory. Read the rest of this entry »