Henry Rzepa's Blog Chemistry with a twist

October 31, 2013

The world ash tree of the computer hardware industry… crystalline silicon from 1854.

The element silicon best represents the digital era of the mid 20th century to the present; without its crystalline form, there would be no computers (or this blog). Although it was first prepared in pure amorphous (powder) form around 1823[1] by Berzelius, it was not until 1854 that Henri Sainte-Claire Deville made it in crystalline form, using metallic aluminium to isolate it. He described it [1] as having a “metallic luster”.



  1. "The discovery of the elements. XII. Other elements isolated with the aid of potassium and sodium: Beryllium, boron, silicon, and aluminum", @ACHS, 1932. http://doi.org/10.1021/ed009p1386

June 5, 2013

Computers 1967-2013: a personal perspective. Part 5. Network bandwidth.

In a time of change, we often do not notice that Δ = ∫δ. Here I am thinking of network bandwidth, and my personal experience of it over a 46 year period.


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