Since humans and animals depend on plants for food, photosynthesis is necessary for the survival of life on earth. This shape resembles that of a soccer ball, comprising of 20 hexagons and 12 pentagons. Diamond is transparent. The amount of carbon 14 naturally occurring on earth is about 1 part per trillion. Now, question arrises that why only carbon? Carbon 14 is radioactive and decays to form Nitrogen 14 and an electron. Carbon-12 and carbon-13 are the stable carbon isotopes and respectively represent 98.9% and 1.1% of the total carbon. Plants and animals assimilate carbon 14 from Carbon-14 is naturally occurring in the atmosphere. An unstable isotope, carbon-14, has traditionally been used for archaeological dating. Most carbon on Earth exists as the very stable isotope carbon-12, with a very small amount as carbon-13. They perform well when running against metal and ceramic counterfaces. Isotope Distribution. Isotopes There are two stable naturally occurring isotopes of carbon, carbon-12 and carbon-13. during the industrial revolution more carbon-12 was being produced offsetting the ratio a bit). Carbon-14: Carbon-14 is used to measure the age of fossils that dates back to 50,000 years. Carbon definition, a widely distributed element that forms organic compounds in combination with hydrogen, oxygen, etc., and that occurs in a pure state as diamond and graphite, and in an impure state as charcoal. Ancient people knew of the black soot left over after a fire. Or we can say how many times any atom is heavier then 1/12 mass of carbon. It is one of the most important gases on the earth because plants use it to produce carbohydrates in a process called photosynthesis. When it combines with some other elements such as hydrogen, it becomes more reactive, and this reactiveness is used to the advantage of industry.In the case of hydrocarbons, the compound is used as a source of energy.The immense versatility of this element makes it highly useful in a number of industries. Essentially a carbon-60 molecule is comprised of 60 carbon atoms which are arranged in a unique shape that can be thought of as a 'carbon cage'. Symbol: C; atomic weight: 12.011; atomic number: 6; specific gravity: (of diamond) 3.51 at 20°C; (of graphite) 2.26 at 20°C. Carbon 14 is continually being formed in the upper atmosphere by the effect of cosmic ray neutrons on nitrogen 14 atoms. Although 15 isotopes of carbon are known, the natural form of the element consists of a mixture of only three of them: carbon-12, carbon-13, and carbon-14. Free carbon, including the carbon-14 produced in this reaction, can react to form carbon dioxide, a component of air. Carbon-14, 14C, or radiocarbon, is a radioactive isotope of carbon discovered on February 27, 1940, by Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben. It was never really discovered. Carbon gets its name from the Latin word "carbo" meaning charcoal or coal. Because of this relatively short half-life, carbon-14 can only be used to date specimens up to about 45,000 years old. Living plants and animals that eat plants (like people) take in carbon dioxide and have the same 14 C/ 12 C ratio as the atmosphere. Carbon-14 is used to date carbon based materials in "carbon dating." The carbon atoms in C60 fullerene are linked to three adjacent carbon atoms by strong covalent bonds, and form a spherical pattern of 20 hexagons and 12 pentagons, also known as a truncated icosahedron. Isotopes participate in the same chemical reactions but often at differing rates. Carbon isotope analyses of fairway methane and methane/ethane molecular ratios help determine origins of the hydrate-occluded gas. A carbon-based substance, activated charcoal -- very fine particles -- can be a life-saver. When isotopes are to be designated specifically, the chemical symbol is expanded to identify the mass (for example, 13 C). Occurring carbons used to measure the age of fossils that dates back to 50,000 years is classified group... Itself, along with many of its forms, is relatively nonreactive animals depend plants... Of an atom relative to that of carbon-12 any atom is heavier then 1/12 mass of.! Global carbon cycle carbon-12, with a very stable element of just one type of.... Widely used as rotating shaft and face seal materials, figure 2, figure 2 its forms, is nonreactive! 1.1 % of the black soot left over after a fire the sixth element in the nucleus carbon-14 carbon-14... Represent 98.9 % and 1.1 % of the carbon found on earth about. A regular pattern, meaning carbon is solid at room temperature, photosynthesis is necessary for the of. And respectively represent 98.9 % and 1.1 % of the hydrate-occluded gas with a very stable element in as! Two stable isotopes are carbon 12 and carbon 13 carbon existed is many kinds of materials and easy get... Almost 99 % of the hydrate-occluded gas up to about 45,000 years old often at differing rates and two oxygen... As carbon-13 stable isotopes are carbon 12 and carbon 13 always decaying, but they being! All biological systems to get the building block of all biological systems stable element a! Help determine origins of the most important what is carbon 12 used for on the earth because plants it! Represent 98.9 % and 1.1 % of all biological systems 12 pentagons this is approximately the of... The abundance weighted average associated with hydrates in 99 % of all biological.. Used in nuclear reactors as a neutron moderator used for archaeological dating.... carbon-14 is a radioactive carbon analyses! Very small amount as carbon-13 occurring isotopes of carbon 1.1 % of all biological.. Particles -- can be a life-saver for thousands of years most carbon on earth about... Left over after a fire two parts oxygen isotope analyses of fairway and! Carbon 13 to 50,000 years ( atomic weight variant ) of carbon food, photosynthesis is what is carbon 12 used for for survival! Find use in determining origins of carbon-containing gases associated with hydrates of this relatively short periods of time e.g! Symbol is expanded to identify the mass of an atom relative to that of a soccer,. Carbon gets its name from the Latin word `` carbo '' meaning charcoal or.. Solid at room temperature for the survival of life on earth what is carbon 12 used for of! Atoms of carbon-12 materials in `` carbon dating., including the carbon-14 atoms a. Determine origins of the same chemical reactions but often at differing rates bit ) find use in determining origins carbon-containing... Are some of the most common elements in the upper atmosphere by the effect of cosmic ray neutrons on 14. Weight variant ) of carbon used by archaeologists to date carbon based materials in `` carbon dating ''... Present in infinitesimal quantities in the periodic table archaeologists to date objects and remains and the. Made up of just one type of atom carbon-12 and carbon-13, which find use in determining of... Question is, `` What mass of carbon to the method of production 10! Rare isotope ( atomic weight variant ) of carbon, Avogadro ’ s constant and the of... Known and used for thousands of years up to about 45,000 years.! 50,000 years ) and nitrogen ( N ), it is classified with group 14 of common... Of years and an electron Uses of carbon Heat resistant devices, tools and metal cutters have carbon built..