Carbon is the sixth most abundant element, with three naturally occurring isotopes. Carbon-14 is a radioactive isotope that is found in all living tissues. Because of this, by measuring the amount of carbon-14 present in an object, the age can be determined. Carbon is also found in carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. Carbon dioxide is a molecule that is absorbed by plants in photosynthesis and, as a solid, is also known as "dry ice", which is known best as an example of sublimation. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous, colorless, and odorless gas that kills by binding itself to hemoglobin and suffocating tissues. Carbon is such a crucial part of life that there is an entire field of chemistry, organic chemistry, dedicated to the study of carbon and carbon-containing compounds, structures, and their reactions.
More info about the International Year of the Periodic Table (IYPT) in crystals project:
This project (#IYPTCrystals) is part of the International Year of the Periodic Table celebration (#IYPT2019), read more about the project here. You can follow us on social media using #IYPTCrystals and learn more about the wonders of crystals by following the CCDC on Twitter @ccdc_cambridge on Facebook ccdc.cambridge, on Instagram ccdc_cambridge or on YouTube CCDCCambridge.
If you want to find out more about some of the terms and concepts we have a Frequently Asked Questions Page.