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10 days to go – 14th of December

Monday again, and this week I promise to (try to :P) be better at blogging than last week! My excuse is mostly Anders' exam, which affected me quite a lot too... It's just so much better when you're sort of working on a team with someone - but that's almost impossible when one person has an exam and works constantly except for the 8 hours he needs for sleeping, and the other one has a child 😉 Now he's finished with exams for quite a long time, and we're back to being a team again - working together in the evenings in our living room, going to bed early, and getting up early in the morning <3
Anyway, I'm super happy to have my team mate "back" from quantum field theory, it's the last whole week before christmas (for many, maybe the last week before vacation?), and it's the 14th of December, meaning there are only 10 days left to christmas. So I thought I should give you the 14th element today 🙂
Element number 14 in the periodic table of elements is silicon (short: Si). The reason why it's the 14th element is because it has 14 protons in its nucleus. There are 24 different isotopes ("types") of silicon that we know of, and the stable ones (the non-radioactive) are silicon-28, silicon-29, and silicon-30.
If you want to make stable silicon, the recipe is 14 protons, and either 14, 15, or 16 neutrons. If you use 14 neutrons, you'll make silicon-28 (14+14=28), and this is the most abundant type in the universe - actually 92.23% of all silicon is silicon-28. If you use 15 neutrons, you'll make silicon-29 (4.67% of all silicon), and if you use 16 neutrons, you'll make silicon-30 (3.1% of all silicon). If you mix your protons with less than 14, or more than 16 neutrons, you'll end up making radioactive silicon.
Silicon is the eight most common element found in the universe, if you sort by mass (before silicon, there's hydrogen, helium, oxygen, carbon, neon, iron, and nitrogen). Even if there is a lot of it here on Earth, it's not common to find it as pure silicon - meaning not as part part of some chemical compound (which is a substance that consists of two or more different types of atoms, like for example water, which consists of both hydrogen and oxygen). Pure silicon is actually quite important for us today, since we use it in all kinds of modern technology, and we like <3 technology...

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