Periodic table tile for the element Carbon

Background Information

The English name carbon comes from the Latin carbo for coal and charcoal. Carbon was discovered in prehistory and was known in the forms of soot and charcoal to the earliest human civilizations. Diamonds were known as early as 2500 BCE in China, while carbon in the form of charcoal was made around Roman times by the same chemistry as it is today, by heating wood in a pyramid covered with clay to exclude air.

Carbon is probably the most important element in the periodic table when it comes to life on earth. Due to carbons unique way of bonding to four different atoms and also being able to bond to itself repeatedly – it can create a vast array of different chemical compounds. These chemical compounds make up every living organism on earth and without Carbon – life would not be possible.

How is it used in everyday life?

Carbon is the basis of a huge quantity of extremely important and essential materials that we use every day. One of the most commonly known materials is diamond which is a natural heavily structured mineral made desirable due to the way in which it reflects light, and its sturdiness.
Carbon is the main component of fuels (hydrocarbons) such as coal and gasoline and is used to provide power to virtually every person on the planet.

An interesting and modern application of Carbon is the usage of Carbon Fibre which has extremely high strength but also very low weight. This makes it useful in aerospace engineering and in spaceflight where the weight of materials carried into space costs a serious amount of money.