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.
The word carbon is Latin, meaning "charcoal." Carbon compounds are the basis for all living things on Earth. Carbon readily bonds with other abundant elements, such as hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorous, sulfur and nitrogen, to create the building blocks of life.
Scientists estimate that carbon is the sixth most abundant element in the universe. Crystalline carbon, commonly known as diamond, remains one of the hardest substances in existence. A diamond is the result of tremendous temperature and pressure applied to elemental carbon for millions of years.