Silicon is a nonmetallic chemical element in the carbon family of elements. Silicon, by atomic symbol Si, is the second most abundant element in the earth's crust, surpassed only by oxygen.
Silica in the form of sand and sandstone is one of the most common, and at the same time, unique industrial minerals. Found in every rock type of every geologic age and virtually everywhere of the world, silica is used in products that touch just about every aspect of daily life. Imagine a world in the 1990s without computer chips, fiber optics, or glass, and you have just begun to understand how important silica is to the quality of life we enjoy.