Coastal & Marine Geology InfoBank

Home FACS Activities Atlas Geology School Related Sites More

USGS CMG InfoBank: Silicates

Skip navigational links
Dictionaries: Our Mapping Systems   The USGS and Science Education   USGS Fact Sheets   Topics   Keywords   Data Dictionary   Metadata Dictionary   Computer Terminology   Digital Formats  
InfoBank Terms: Activity ID   activity overview   crew   digital data   formal metadata   lines   metadata   NGDC   port stops   project/theme   region   ship   stations   time   virtual globe   year  
Data Types: bathymetry   biological   geochemical   gravity   ground penetrating radar   imaging   LIDAR   logs   magnetics   metering equipment   navigation   samples   seismic   total station   definitions disclaimer  
Data Formats: ARC coverage   E00   FGDC metadata   gridded/image   imaging   material   scattered/swath   Shapefile   vector/polygon  
Comment: 24:45 - 26:21 (01:36)
Source: Annenberg/CPB Resources - Earth Revealed - 12. Minerals: The Materials of Earth
Keywords: mineral, silicate, silicon, element, semi-conductor, microchip, computer, technology

Our transcription: As we've seen, minerals can form in many ways.
Most are relatively uncommon, while a few dozen are quite plentiful, but no minerals on the planet are more abundant than the silicates.
Silicates constitute more than 90 percent of all mineral varieties on Planet Earth.
Most silicates possess neither the political and financial power of gold, nor the exquisite beauty of diamonds, but their economic value as construction material is enormous.
And one of their common ingredients, the element silicon, is used extensively in a very specialized type of modern technology: computers.
Pure, solid silicon is crystalline and hard, so it can be sliced to a thickness of only a fraction of a centimeter.
It's also a semi-conductor, which means it can be made to conduct electricity.
These properties make silicon the ideal raw material for the manufacture of microchips used in computers.
These days computer technology is so widespread that we tend to take it for granted, but without the thin silicon wafers made from common silicon minerals, the awesome processing power of the computer age might never have come about.

Geology School Keywords
Skip footer navigational links

Coastal and Marine Science Centers:  Pacific   St. Petersburg   Woods Hole  
InfoBank   Coastal and Marine Geology Program   Geologic Information   Ask-A-Geologist   USGS Disclaimer  

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: InfoBank staff
Page Last Modified: Thu Oct 31 04:26:32 PDT 2013  (chd)