Carbon (C) is a nonmetallic chemical element belonging to Periodic Group 14. Although carbon is abundant in nature, it accounts for only around 0.025 percent of the Earth’s crust, and yet it produces more compounds than all the other elements combined.
In 1961, the isotope carbon-12 was chosen to replace oxygen as the standard against which all other elements’ atomic weights are determined. The radioactive isotope carbon-14 is utilized in radiocarbon dating and radiolabeling.
Carbon is the fifteenth most prevalent element in the Earth’s crust and the fourth most plentiful element by mass in the universe, after hydrogen, helium, and oxygen.
Properties Of Carbon
Carbon’s abundance, unique range of organic compounds, and rare ability to form polymers at temperatures typical on Earth enable it to act as a common ingredient in all known life.
After oxygen, it is the second most prevalent element in the human body in terms of mass (about 18.5 percent).
A person who handled charcoal from a fire was the first to find out about carbon as an element. Thus, among sulfur, iron, tin, lead, copper, mercury, silver, and gold, carbon was a member of a tiny but very well group of elements in the ancient world.
Carbon chemistry as we know it now dates from the development of coal, gasoline, and natural gas as fuels and the explication of synthetic organic chemistry, both of which have advanced significantly since the 1800s.
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