Q:

What is the symbol for carbon?

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Quick Answer

The symbol for carbon is C. Carbon is a versatile element that can form compounds with many other elements. It is also an essential component of organic compounds.

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Full Answer

In its elemental form, carbon takes different forms. Carbon can exist in crystalline forms such as graphite and diamond, which have very different characteristics. Diamonds are the hardest substances on Earth, whereas graphite is soft.

Hydrogen and carbon combine with each other and other elements to form a class of compounds called organic compounds, which are important to living things. Carbon has four valence electrons, each of which can be shared with another element. The element commonly sharing an electron with carbon is hydrogen. A single carbon atom can bond with four hydrogen atoms. In this way, carbon can form long chains. Fats, proteins, carbohydrates and nucleic acids are organic compounds made with long, carbon backbones.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How are ionic compounds formed?

    A:

    Ionic compounds are formed by the electrostatic force of attraction between two oppositely charged ions, forming a neutral compound. Ions are formed when atoms either gain or lose electrons to obtain a stable electron configuration.

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  • Q:

    What are some examples of organic and inorganic compounds?

    A:

    According to Chemistry About, examples of organic compounds include table sugar, methane and DNA, while inorganic compounds include table salt, diamond and carbon dioxide. Organic molecules and compounds are generally associated with living organisms. Inorganic molecules or compounds include substances made from a single element.

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  • Q:

    What is the importance of inorganic compounds?

    A:

    Water, an inorganic compound, is important because it makes up as much as 70 percent of the body weight of an adult body, according to a Rice University article published on the Openstax College website. The other groups of inorganic compounds that are essential to the body include salts, acids and bases.

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  • Q:

    Why are ionic compounds electrically neutral?

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    Ionic compounds are electrically neutral because the charges of the cations and anions that make up the compound cancel each other out. In the case of salt for example, sodium has a charge of positive one, and chloride has a charge of negative one. Together, they neutralize the compound.

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