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Emerging from inside of stars, carbon is the fourth most abundant element in the universe, and the basis for all life on Earth. Polyamorous, it loves to bond, exchanging four of its electrons with atoms of itself and other elements to create an endless variety of chemistry, from DNA chains to soccer-ball shaped fullerenes to atom-thick sheets of graphene. As diamond, carbon is hard and abrasive, as graphite, soft. When its bonds are broken, carbon readily moves from one partner to the next, cycling between oceans, atmosphere, flora, fauna, soil, rocks, and fossil deposits deep below ground.
Project: Everything Matters: Tales from the Periodic Table | Browse All
Date: June 29, 2015
Category: Everyday Science
Subject(s): General Science