(kär'bən) Symbol CA naturally abundant, nonmetallic element that occurs in all organic compounds and can be found in all known forms of life.
Diamonds and graphite are pure forms, and carbon is a major constituent of coal, petroleum, and natural gas.
In older stars that have burned most of their hydrogen, leftover helium accumulates.
Each helium nucleus has two protons and two neutrons.
It takes another 5,730 for half of the remainder to decay, and then another 5,730 for half of what's left then to decay and so on.
The period of time that it takes for half of a sample to decay is called a "half-life." Radiocarbon oxidizes (that is, it combines with oxygen) and enters the biosphere through natural processes like breathing and eating.
While scientists sometimes conceptualize electrons spinning around an atom's nucleus in a defined shell, they actually fly around the nucleus at various distances; this view of the carbon atom can be seen here in two electron cloud figures (bottom), showing the electrons in a single blob (the so-called s-orbital) and in a two-lobed blob or cloud (the p-orbital). It can link to itself, forming long, resilient chains called polymers.
It can also bond with up to four other atoms because of its electron arrangement.
It takes about 5,730 years for half of a sample of radiocarbon to decay back into nitrogen. History and Uses: Carbon, the sixth most abundant element in the universe, has been known since ancient times.Amorphous carbon is formed when a material containing carbon is burned without enough oxygen for it to burn completely.Atomic Number: 6 Atomic Weight: 12.0107 Melting Point: 3823 K (3550°C or 6422°F) Boiling Point: 4098 K (3825°C or 6917°F) Density: 2.2670 grams per cubic centimeter Phase at Room Temperature: Solid Element Classification: Non-metal Period Number: 2 Group Number: 14 Group Name: none What's in a name? Three naturally occurring allotropes of carbon are known to exist: amorphous, graphite and diamond. Carbon is most commonly obtained from coal deposits, although it usually must be processed into a form suitable for commercial use.