Germanium is a chemical element with symbol Ge and atomic number 32. It is a lustrous, hard, grayish-white metalloid in the carbon group, chemically similar to its group neighbors tin and silicon. Purified germanium is a semiconductor, with an appearance most similar to elemental silicon. Like silicon, germanium naturally reacts and forms complexes with oxygen in nature. Unlike silicon, it is too reactive to be found naturally on Earth in the free (native) state.
You may or may not know, but this little guy is practically the backbone of every single modern electronic device, and is considered by many to be the greatest discovery of the past century. Developed first in the 1920s, it didn’t get a lot of attention back then. It wasn’t until 1947 that John Bardeen [...]