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“Silicon is the eighth most common element in the universe by mass, but very rarely occurs as the pure element in the Earth’s crust. It is most widely distributed in dusts, sands, planetoids, and planets as various forms of silicon dioxide or silicates. Over 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.

Various sea sponges and microorganisms, secrete skeletal structures made of silica and silica is deposited in many plant tissues, such as horsetails and many grasses.” [1]

On Earth, all known living things have a carbon-based structure and system. Scientists have speculated about the pros and cons of using atoms other than carbon to form the molecular structures necessary for life and astrophysicist and researcher Carl Sagan regarded silicon as one of the conceivable alternatives to carbon as the basis for an alternative biochemical system. It has been suggested that silicone-based chemicals would be more stable than hydrocarbons in a sulfuric-acid-rich environment, as is found in some extra-terrestrial locations. [2]

Silicon is a metaloid. That is, it looks like metal, but it is not metal. It can conduct electricity, but not as well as metal: it is a semi-conductor. It is the basis of today’s ever-expanding electronics industry and fundamental to every one of the electronic devices we use on a daily basis. Silicon is now integral to the development of AI applications.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicon

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypothetical_types_of_biochemistry#Silicon_biochemistryNon-carbon-based biochemistries