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Germanium

A metalloid element with atomic number 32 and the symbol Ge on the periodic table. Despire its abundance, it was not discuvered until 1885, though its existence and properties were predicted by Dmitri Mendeleev in 1869. Germanium is used in fiber optics systems, in infrared optics, for solar cells, and as a dietary supplement for cancer patients, among other uses. In the audio world, germanium served as a semiconductor in integrated circuits and transistors, particularly in the 1960s; it was largely replaced by silicon for this role beginning in the early 1970s because silicon was much more stable. However, there has been a resurgence of interest in germanium semiconductors for the warm, fat tone it can produce in microphone preamps and especially in guitar fuzz boxes and clean boost stompboxes.

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