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Carbon Properties

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What are  the Properties of Carbon?
What is the definition of Carbon? It is a naturally abundant non-metallic element that occurs in many inorganic and in all organic compounds, exists freely as graphite and diamond. One of the hardest substances known to man (diamonds).

The Physical and Chemical Properties are the characteristics of a substance, like Carbon, which distinguishes it from any other substance. Most common substances, like Carbon, exist as States of Matter as solids, liquids, gases and plasma. Refer to the article on Carbon for additional information and facts about this substance.

Carbon Properties - What are the Physical Properties of Carbon?
What are the Physical Properties of Carbon? The Physical properties of Carbon are the characteristics that can be observed without changing the substance into another substance. Physical properties are usually those that can be observed using our senses such as color, luster, freezing point, boiling point, melting point, density, hardness and odor. The Physical Properties of Carbon are as follows:

  • *Allotropic: Two allotropes of carbon have different crystalline structures: diamond and graphite. The physical properties of carbon vary widely with the allotropic form.

  • Forms of Carbon: Graphite, diamonds and coal are all nearly pure forms of carbon

  • Color: Diamond is highly transparent. Graphite is opaque and black

  • Hardness: Diamond is one of the hardest substances known to man. Graphite is soft and often used as the "lead" in lead pencils

  • Conductivity: Diamond has a very low electrical conductivity. Graphite is a very good conductor

  • Brittleness: Very brittle, and cannot be rolled into wires or pounded into sheets

  • Phase: Solid

*Allotropic - Allotropes are forms of an element with different physical and chemical properties occurring in two or more crystalline forms in the same physical state.

Carbon Properties - What are the Chemical Properties of Carbon?
What are the Chemical Properties of Carbon? They are the characteristics that determine how it will react with other substances or change from one substance to another. The better we know the nature of the substance the better we are able to understand it. Chemical properties are only observable during a chemical reaction. Reactions to substances may be brought about by changes brought about by burning, rusting, heating, exploding, tarnishing etc. The Chemical Properties of Carbon are as follows:

  • Chemical Formula: C

  • Oxidation: Combines with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide (CO2 ) and carbon monoxide (CO)

  • Reactivity: Carbon does not dissolve in, or react with, water or acids

  • Chains of Atoms: Carbon has the ability to make long strings, or chains, of atoms

  • Compounds: Carbon forms more compounds than all other elements combined; several million carbon compounds are known

  • Buckminsterfullerene - C60: Carbon also occurs in a newly discovered form known as fullerenes or buckyballs. A fullerene is any molecule composed entirely of carbon. Fullerenes are similar in structure to graphite

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