What is carbon?

  • (noun): An abundant nonmetallic tetravalent element occurring in three allotropic forms: amorphous carbon and graphite and diamond; occurs in all organic compounds.
    Synonyms: C, atomic number 6
    See also — Additional definitions below


Carbon (from Latin: carbo "coal") is the chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6. As a member of group 14 on the periodic table, it is nonmetallic and tetravalent—making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds. There are three naturally occurring isotopes, with 12C and 13C being stable, while 14C is radioactive, decaying with a half-life of about 5,730 years. Carbon is one of the few elements known since antiquity.

Read more about Carbon.

Some articles on carbon:

Agathis Australis - Ethnobotany - Uses
... Today, the kauri is being considered as a long-term carbon sink ... This is because estimates of the total carbon content in living above ground biomass and dead biomass of mature kauri forest are the second highest of any forest type recorded anywhere in the world ... The estimated total carbon capture is up to nearly 1000 tones per hectare ...
Bicycle Frame - Frame Materials - Combinations
... The combined materials are usually carbon fiber and a metal, either steel, aluminum, or titanium ... includes a metal down tube and chain stays with carbon top tube, seat tube, and seat stays ... Another is a metal main triangle and chain stays with just carbon seat stays ...
... Yedoma is an organic-rich (about 2% carbon by mass) Pleistocene-age loess permafrost with ice content of 50–90% by volume ... The amount of carbon trapped in this type of permafrost is much more prevalent than originally thought and may be about 500 Gt, that is almost 100 times the amount of carbon ...
Carbon, Iowa - Demographics - 2000 Census
... There were 15 households out of which 26.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 20.0% were married couples living together, 13.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 66.7% were non-families. 46.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 33.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older ...
Martin Kamen - Scientific Contributions
... particles in the cyclotron, radioactive isotopes such as carbon-14, were generated ... Using carbon-14, the order of events in biochemical reactions could be elucidated, showing the precursors of a particular biochemical product, revealing the network of reactions that ... confirming that all of the oxygen released in photosynthesis comes from water, not carbon dioxide ...

More definitions of "carbon":

  • (noun): A copy made with carbon paper.
    Synonyms: carbon copy
  • (noun): A thin paper coated on one side with a dark waxy substance (often containing carbon); used to transfer characters from the original to an under sheet of paper.
    Synonyms: carbon paper