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Skyscrapers, Neon Lights, and the Periodic Table - page 12 / 30





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Group 14—The Carbon Group If you look at Group 14, you can see that carbon is a nonmetal, silicon and germanium are metal- loids, and tin and lead are metals. The non- metal carbon exists as an element in several forms. You’re familiar with two of them—dia- mond and graphite. Carbon also is found in all living things. Carbon is followed by the metal- loid silicon, an abundant element contained in sand. Sand contains ground-up particles of minerals such as quartz, which is composed of silicon and oxygen. Glass is an important product made from sand.

Group 14 The Carbon Group

Carbon 6 C

Silicon 14 Si

Germanium 32 Ge

Tin 50 Sn

Silicon and its Group 14 neighbor, germa- nium, are metalloids. They are used in elec- tronics as semiconductors. A semiconductor doesn’t conduct electricity as well as a metal, but does conduct electricity better than a nonmetal. Silicon and small amounts of other elements are used for computer chips as shown in Figure 7.

Lead 82 Pb

Tin and lead are the two heaviest elements in Group 14. Lead is used in the apron, shown in Figure 7, to protect your torso during dental X rays. It also is used in car batteries, low-melting alloys, protective shielding around nuclear reactors, particle accelerators, X-ray equipment, and containers used for storing and transporting radioactive materials. Tin is used in pewter, toothpaste, and the coating on steel cans used for food.

Figure 7 Members of Group 14 include one nonmetal, two met- alloids, and two metals.

All living things contain carbon compounds.

Lead is used to shield your body from unwanted X-ray exposure.

Silicon crystals are used to make computer chips.

SECTION 2 Representative Elements K 107

(l)David Young-Wolff/PhotoEdit/PictureQuest, (c)Jane Sapinsky/The Stock Market/CORBIS, (r)Dan McCoy/Rainbow/PictureQuest

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