Carbon is the most vital element of life. All living things are made up of compounds of carbon. Atoms in a molecule are held together by chemical bonds. The diversity of matter we see around us is thanks to the arrangement of molecules in different combinations.
- The name ‘Carbon’ was derived from the Latin word ‘Carbo’ which means ‘Charcoal’.
- Carbon is a key element in all living organisms. It is present in the compounds that make up living things.
- Carbon is a non-metallic solid. Its element symbol is “C”. It has 6 protons and 6 electrons. And it is the sixth element of the periodic table.
- Carbon combines with oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen in many different quantities and geometric arrangement resulting in an amazingly broad range of compounds (more than a million compounds). Carbon forms more compounds than all other elements put together.
- Carbon has the ability to line up, one carbon atom after the other to form long chains of atoms known as ‘Carbon Chains’.
- Materials made exclusively out of carbon atoms are known as carbon materials. The structure and properties of carbon materials depend on the way the atoms are bonded with each other. Common
examples of carbon materials are diamond and graphite.