Carbon is an element that has unique properties that allow it to form covalent bonds with other elements. These bonds are important in the formation of cells and are crucial to the function of respiration and energy creation, making it one of the most vital elements of life.
In terms of respiration and food metabolism, carbon is vital in that it combines with oxygen and glucose in mammals in order to produce carbon dioxide, water and energy (in the form of heat). Although mammals do not require the carbon dioxide and release it into the atmosphere, plants use it in order to photosynthesize, making use of it in the opposite manner of mammals.
Cells are made of a series of complex molecules known as macromolecules. These include proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates and lipids. These are all subsets of organic molecules, which are molecules that contain carbon. Because carbon is present in these molecules, this in turn makes carbon vital to life.
The ability of carbon to form covalent bonds makes it versatile. Considered a basic structural component, carbon is known as the backbone of macromolecules and one of the building blocks of life. It is the fourth most abundant element on earth.Learn More
One of the main chemical properties of carbon is that it can easily bond with other elements in long chains. This the main reason is why carbon the basis for life on Earth.Full Answer >
Carbon can exist in several forms, including graphite, one of the softest naturally occurring substances, and diamond, one of the hardest naturally occurring substances. Carbon has the highest melting point of all the elements and, in the diamond form, has the highest thermal conductivity of any element.Full Answer >
Carbon is an element located in sixth position on the periodic table. Its symbol is "C." Known since early human history, there are abundant natural formations of carbon in graphite, diamond and amorphous carbon.Full Answer >
High carbon steel is used in the creation of steel wires and springs due to its ability to hold shape memory. This type of steel is made from 0.55 to 0.95 percent carbon and 0.30 to 0.90 percent manganese, and this composition is what accounts for its strength.Full Answer >