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Sunday, 22 December 2013

Carbon

Carbon is the second most abundant element in the human body.

The radioactive isotope carbon-14 is used as a tracer in biological research and in radiocarbon dating.

Analysis of interstellar dust has led to the discovery of discrete carbon molecules, each containing 60 carbon atoms. The C60 molecules, which can also be synthesized, were named buckminsterfullerenes because of their structural similarity to the geodesic domes designed by US architect and engineer Richard Buckminster Fuller.

Diamonds and coal are both made from carbon.

Diamond is the only gemstone composed of just one chemical element, carbon. Although crystal-clear, it is black when reduced to dust.

A team of researchers at North Carolina State University have created a third form (or phase) of solid carbon, called Q-carbon, that glows when exposed to low levels of energy and is harder than diamond. The resulting Q-carbon is unique among solid carbons in that it is ferromagnetic, which means that like iron, cobalt, and nickel, it retains its magnetism even after a magnetic field has been removed.



The lead in pencils is made of the same thing as diamonds. Both are pure carbon just formed under different pressures and temperatures.

There's enough carbon in your body to produce 1,000 pencils.


Carbon Chauvinism is the name given by critics to the assumption that if life exists elsewhere in the universe then it will be carbon-based.

Peatlands cover less than 3% of the land surface of Earth, but are thought to contain twice as much carbon as all the world's forests.

Source Hutchinson Encyclopedia © RM 2013. Helicon Publishing is division of RM., Mentalfloss.com

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