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TOM THE ATOM, BOOK 16

Had you heard of Silicon Valley? It is an economic rally!

GOAL: Introduce Silicon (Si). You will learn the concept of Semiconductors.

Mary and Henry visit a beautiful and wealthy neighborhood, that of the Semi-Metals. The community is small.  Tom-the-Atom calls out to Silicon.  He is in the Periodic Table in Column 14 or Group 4A. I.e., he has 4 valence electrons in his outer shell/subshells.  Silicon is in the 3rd row (or Period), meaning he has 3 shells. 

This family is economically critical to humans because he represents elements that can behave like a Metal or like Non-Metals.  Humans can achieve that transition and manipulate properties at their convenience by raising their temperature, changing their environment, or adding minuscule amounts of other atoms.  They form SEMICONDUCTORS (Metal are conductors of Electricity and Non-Metals are not conductors of electrons, but Semiconductors conduct electricity just a little bit). 

The Semi-Metals family is of great economic importance.  Most of the electrical things surrounding you are made of semiconductors (phone, TV, radio, etc. etc.).

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