Carbon and it’s Allotropes!

Hi guys!

So, today’s a chemistry post, and next week, we’ll jump right back to bio.

Let’s do this!!

Carbon: Fact File ->

Carbon is the 6th element in the periodic table. It’s symbol is C, and was “discovered” in 1789. Antoine Lavoisier was the one who proposed the name carbon. Despite being known since ancient times, carbon was only recognized as a proper element in the latter half of the 18th century. The masses of all atoms are determined by comparing it with an atom of carbon!

What is an Allotrope?

An allotrope is basically different forms of the same exact element. For example, the allotropes of oxygen are dioxygen and ozone. Both of these are composed entirely of oxygen atoms- it is only their physical structure that differs. Carbon has a bunch of allotropes- including diamond, graphene, buckminsterfullerene [This is a real word. I am not kidding.] and many more. Other elements that display allotropy include- sulfur, tin and phosphorus.

The Allotropes of Carbon->

Carbon is an incredibly versatile element. Till now, there are 8 known allotropes of carbon. These allotropes are- diamond, graphite, lonsdaleite, buckminsterfullerene(these are also referred to as buckyballs… xD!). E and F in the above photos are two different forms of fullerene, G is amorphous carbon, and H is a carbon nanotube.

Today, we’re only going to be looking into the two most basic allotropes- graphite and diamond.

Diamonds->

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.- Marilyn Monroe. Well, I don’t exactly agree, but whatever.

My point is; diamonds are the hardest thing on the planet- so hard that they are put into saw blades to cut through stone… When carbon is in the form of diamond, it’ll melt only if the temperature crosses 3550 degrees Celsius. That’s way hotter than the temperatures on Venus- and Venus is the hottest planet in our Solar System.

In diamonds, each carbon atom bonds with four other atoms, forming a tetrahedral unit. These units all build up until billions of carbon atoms are bonded together, forming a diamond.

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Graphite->

Graphite is an ingredient in pencil lead. It’s incredibly soft and slippery.

The reason that its so slippery is because graphite is basically thin layers of carbon stacked upon one another. When you write, you basically leave little layers of carbon behind on the paper. In graphite, each carbon atom only bonds with three other atoms- this gives a hexagon-like ring. When graphite is put under a microscope, you can see the layers of carbon quite clearly.

That’s it for today, guys. Thank you for reading!

PS- I’ve posted a related poem on my second site… Do check it out here!

Thanks!

Bye!

Published by girrrrrl_of_two_worlds

hi! just a nerdy girl here. lover of science, english and learning on the whole. spreading knowledge is one of my favorite things to do! nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less. ~marie curie

Join the Conversation

30 Comments

  1. Really cool.
    Tetrahedral means 5 atoms of the same element bonded?
    I love the look of H!

    What’s great is that you write in short paragraphs and break it down so that others can understand.

    I wonder if you would, before writing about different elements, write a post explaining the periodic table, another post on different parts, and one on what is an element etc. Just a random thought πŸ™‚

    I learnt a new word today. Allotropes. Let’s see if I remember it…

    Love, light and glitter

    Liked by 2 people

      1. The carbon cone. You didn’t give the name of that formation. Not that I’d remember it to be honest.
        It’ll be good for you to do a series because then you’ll have to break it down. The more you explain things to others the clearer it becomes to you. Not that I doubt your understanding for a second for your knowledge and understanding far surpasses mine! Putting it into words always makes it clearer.
        That’s why some connections in life you don’t speak about or put into words because mere words will take away from its value. Make sense?
        πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

        Like

      2. H is simply a carbon nanotube. There’s no real name as such to it.
        Yes- the best way to teach oneself is to teach others. Sometimes, I teach myself as I blog… Thank you! But knowledge and understanding is really the same in all people. It’s just that we have knowledge and expertise in different fields…
        Totally makes sense! Writing emotions down, for example, is the best way to understand them(or so I think.)
        {hugsπŸ’•}

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Woah this is awesome! Even though I just graduated high school this year, it seems like ages since I went over all of this! As much as I hated it then, it’s so interesting now 😱😱 Well done and keep it up, because I can’t wait to read more πŸ˜πŸ‘πŸ’•

    Liked by 2 people

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