At room temperature, carbon is a solid. Carbon is a non-metal that has the atomic number of 6. Its atomic weight is 12.01 grams per mole. Carbon has a high melting point of 6,422 degrees Fahrenheit. This element’s name comes from the Greek word “carbo” that stands for charcoal.
In nature, carbon exists in four different allotropic forms: graphite, diamond, amorphous and white carbon. Graphite is a much softer substance than diamond. The main sources of carbon are coal deposits. There are carbon isotopes that include carbon-12 and carbon-14. Carbon-12 is a stable isotope and carbon-14 has a half-life of 5,730 years. Carbon-14’s main use is in the radiocarbon dating of fossil remains. Organic chemistry is a chemistry branch that studies the many carbon compounds that exist. Some carbon compounds are benzene, carbon dioxide, methane and acetic acid.