The Element Carbon

What is Carbon? Element Properties & Periodic Table Info

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Definition of the Carbon Element
Carbon is a solid. It is a naturally abundant dark grey to black non-metallic element that occurs in many inorganic and in all organic compounds, exists freely as Graphite and Diamond and as a constituent of coal, limestone, and petroleum, and is capable of chemical self-bonding to form an enormous number of chemically, biologically, and commercially important molecules. Diamonds are one of the hardest (substances known to man. At high temperatures it binds with Oxygen to form carbon monoxide or dioxide. Refer to Carbon Reaction for its reaction to Water, Oxygen & Acids. Coal, soot, and diamonds are all nearly pure forms of carbon. The Atomic Number of this element is 6 and the Element Symbol is C.

 

What is Carbon? Origin / Meaning of the name Carbon
The name originates from the Latin word 'carbo' meaning "charcoal". The French chemist, Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier  wrote a book outlining a method for naming chemical substances. The name he used for the element was carbone, based on the earlier Latin term for charcoal, carbo.

What is Carbon? Periodic Table Group and Classification of the Carbon Element
Elements can be classified based on their physical states (States of Matter) e.g. gas, solid or liquid. This element is a solid. Carbon
is classified as an element in the 'non-metals' section which can be located in groups 14,15 and 16 of the Periodic Table. Non-metallic elements exist, at room temperature, in two of the three states of matter: gases (Oxygen, Hydrogen & Nitrogen) and solids (Carbon, Phosphorus, Sulfur and Selenium). For additional facts and information refer to Carbon Properties.

What is Carbon? Facts about the Discovery and History of the Carbon Element
Carbon was discovered and was known as soot and charcoal in Ancient times. French physicist Ren Antoine Ferchault Reaumur (1683-1757) investigated the differences between iron and steel, correctly showing that the amount of carbon is greatest in cast iron, less in steel, and least in wrought iron. His book on this subject and his belief that carbon might be an element was published in 1722.

Ren Antoine Ferchault Reaumur (1683-1757)

In 1787, Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier and three other French chemists wrote a book outlining a method for naming chemical substances. The name they used for the element was carbone, based on the earlier Latin term for charcoal, carbo.

Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier

What is Carbon? Occurrence of the Carbon Element
Carbon is found in nature in the uncombined state in several forms. The diamond is practically pure carbon, while graphite and coal are largely carbon, but contain small amounts of other substances. Its natural compounds are exceedingly numerous and occur as gases, liquids, and solids. Carbon dioxide is its most familiar gaseous compound. Natural gas and petroleum are largely compounds of carbon with Hydrogen. The carbonates, especially Calcium carbonate, constitute great strata of rocks, and are found in almost every locality. All living organisms, both plant and animal, contain a large percentage of this element, and the number of its compounds which go to make up all the vast variety of animate nature is almost limitless. Over one hundred thousand definite compounds containing carbon have been prepared. In the free state carbon occurs in three allotropic forms, two of which are crystalline and one amorphous.

Carbon compounds form the basis of all life on Earth
Exists freely as graphite and diamond
Obtained from burning with insufficient oxygen
A constituent of coal, limestone, and petroleum

Abundances of the element in different environments
%
in Universe 0.5%
% in Sun 0.3%
% in Meteorites 1.5%
% in Earth's Crust 0.18%
% in Oceans 0.0028%
% in Humans 23%

Medical Uses of Carbon - Health and Treatments
Interesting information is contained in the following table of Medical Uses of Carbon, Health and Treatments.
 

Medical uses of Carbon - Health and Treatments

Medical Disorders Medical Symptoms Uses of Carbon & Treatments
Respiratory acidosis Impaired lung function.
Rapid heart rate, seizures, coma, respiratory arrest
Carbon dioxide used in some pump oxygenators to maintain blood carbon dioxide tension
Tendon and ligament injuries Various symptoms according to the type of injury Carbon fiber is used in various forms as soft tissue implants
Research into Carcinogenicity- Carbon black has been listed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer
Medical Disorders Medical Symptoms Uses of Carbon & Treatments

A useful reference providing information regarding the medical uses of Carbon, associated health issues and disorders and treatments using carbon.

Associated Uses of Carbon
Fossil fuels - methane gas
Diamonds
Crude oil (petroleum)
Radiocarbon dating. Carbon dating (using carbon 14) is recorded from 1958
Smoke detectors
Graphite carbon used as charcoal for cooking & artwork
Gasoline
Kerosene

Medicine and Health Care
Carbon monoxide - dioxide
Carbon Fiber
Carbon paper was used from 1895 but will soon be obsolete
Carbon footprint was in use by 2001

C

The Properties of the Carbon Element
Symbol of Element : C
Atomic Number : 6
Atomic Mass: 12.0107 amu
Melting Point: 3500.0 C - 3773.15 K
Boiling Point: 4827.0 C - 5100.15 K
Number of Protons/Electrons: 6
Number of Neutrons: 6
Crystal Structure: Hexagonal
Density @  293 K: 2.62 g/cm3
Color : blackish

What is Carbon? The Properties of the Carbon Element
Name of Element : Carbon
Symbol of Element : C
Atomic Number of Carbon : 6
Atomic Mass: 12.0107 amu
Melting Point: 3500.0 C - 3773.15 K
Boiling Point: 4827.0 C - 5100.15 K
Number of Protons/Electrons in Carbon : 6
Number of Neutrons in Carbon : 6
Crystal Structure: Hexagonal
Density @  293 K: 2.62 g/cm3
Color of Carbon : blackish

Carbon as on the Periodic Table
Check out Carbon on the Periodic Table which arranges each chemical element according to its atomic number, as based on the
Periodic Law, so that chemical elements with similar properties are in the same column. Our Periodic Table is simple to use - just click on the symbol for Carbon as on the Periodic Table for additional information and for an instant comparison of the Atomic Weight, Melting Point, Boiling Point and Mass - G/cc with any other element. An invaluable source of facts and information as a Chemistry reference guide.

Other elements classified as non-metals
The other elements contained in this classification are as follows:

  • Hydrogen
  • Nitrogen
  • Oxygen
  • Phosphorus
  • Sulfur
  • Selenium

What is Carbon - IUPAC and the Modern Standardised Periodic Table
The Standardised Periodic Table in use today was agreed by the International Union of Pure Applied Chemistry, IUPAC, in 1985 and now recognises more periods and elements than Dimitri  Mendeleev knew in his day in his day but still all fitting into his concept of  the "Periodic Table" in which Carbon is just one element that can be found.

Learn about what is Carbon with these fast facts...
These articles contain facts and information relating to Carbon and each of the other elements including the Periodic Symbol,  group, classification, properties and atomic number which is often referred to as the Periodic Table Number. Test your knowledge of chemistry and the Periodic Table by completing the Element Symbols and Atomic Numbers on our Blank Periodic Table. Chemistry students will also find a helpful section on Chemical Formulas.

What is the Element Carbon

The Elements are the building blocks of Modern Science & Chemistry


 

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