An alloy is a combination of metals and of a metal or another element. Alloys are defined by a metallic bonding character. An alloy may be a mixture of metallic phases. Intermetallic compounds are alloys with a defined crystal structure. Zintl phases are sometimes considered alloys depending on bond types. Alloys are used in a wide variety of applications. In some cases, a combination of metals may reduce the overall cost of the material while preserving important properties. In other cases, the combination of metals imparts synergistic properties to the constituent metal elements such as corrosion resistance or mechanical strength. Examples of alloys are steel, brass, duralumin and amalgams; the alloy constituents are measured by mass percentage for practical applications, in atomic fraction for basic science studies. Alloys are classified as substitutional or interstitial alloys, depending on the atomic arrangement that forms the alloy, they can be heterogeneous or intermetallic. An alloy is a mixture of chemical elements, which forms an impure substance that retains the characteristics of a metal.
An alloy is distinct from an impure metal in that, with an alloy, the added elements are well controlled to produce desirable properties, while impure metals such as wrought iron are less controlled, but are considered useful. Alloys are made by mixing two or more elements, at least one of, a metal; this is called the primary metal or the base metal, the name of this metal may be the name of the alloy. The other constituents may or may not be metals but, when mixed with the molten base, they will be soluble and dissolve into the mixture; the mechanical properties of alloys will be quite different from those of its individual constituents. A metal, very soft, such as aluminium, can be altered by alloying it with another soft metal, such as copper. Although both metals are soft and ductile, the resulting aluminium alloy will have much greater strength. Adding a small amount of non-metallic carbon to iron trades its great ductility for the greater strength of an alloy called steel. Due to its very-high strength, but still substantial toughness, its ability to be altered by heat treatment, steel is one of the most useful and common alloys in modern use.
By adding chromium to steel, its resistance to corrosion can be enhanced, creating stainless steel, while adding silicon will alter its electrical characteristics, producing silicon steel. Like oil and water, a molten metal may not always mix with another element. For example, pure iron is completely insoluble with copper; when the constituents are soluble, each will have a saturation point, beyond which no more of the constituent can be added. Iron, for example, can hold a maximum of 6.67% carbon. Although the elements of an alloy must be soluble in the liquid state, they may not always be soluble in the solid state. If the metals remain soluble when solid, the alloy forms a solid solution, becoming a homogeneous structure consisting of identical crystals, called a phase. If as the mixture cools the constituents become insoluble, they may separate to form two or more different types of crystals, creating a heterogeneous microstructure of different phases, some with more of one constituent than the other phase has.
However, in other alloys, the insoluble elements may not separate until after crystallization occurs. If cooled quickly, they first crystallize as a homogeneous phase, but they are supersaturated with the secondary constituents; as time passes, the atoms of these supersaturated alloys can separate from the crystal lattice, becoming more stable, form a second phase that serve to reinforce the crystals internally. Some alloys, such as electrum, an alloy consisting of silver and gold, occur naturally. Meteorites are sometimes made of occurring alloys of iron and nickel, but are not native to the Earth. One of the first alloys made by humans was bronze, a mixture of the metals tin and copper. Bronze was an useful alloy to the ancients, because it is much stronger and harder than either of its components. Steel was another common alloy. However, in ancient times, it could only be created as an accidental byproduct from the heating of iron ore in fires during the manufacture of iron. Other ancient alloys include pewter and pig iron.
In the modern age, steel can be created in many forms. Carbon steel can be made by varying only the carbon content, producing soft alloys like mild steel or hard alloys like spring steel. Alloy steels can be made by adding other elements, such as chromium, vanadium or nickel, resulting in alloys such as high-speed steel or tool steel. Small amounts of manganese are alloyed with most modern steels because of its ability to remove unwanted impurities, like phosphorus and oxygen, which can have detrimental effects on the alloy. However, most alloys were not created until the 1900s, such as various aluminium, titanium and magnesium alloys; some modern superalloys, such as incoloy and hastelloy, may consist of a multitude of different elements. As a noun, the term alloy is used to describe a mixture of atoms in which the primary constituent is a metal; when used as a verb, the term refers to the act of mixing a metal with other elements. The primary metal is called the matrix, or the solvent; the secondary constituents are called s
A metal is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appearance, conducts electricity and heat well. Metals are malleable or ductile. A metal may be an alloy such as stainless steel. In physics, a metal is regarded as any substance capable of conducting electricity at a temperature of absolute zero. Many elements and compounds that are not classified as metals become metallic under high pressures. For example, the nonmetal iodine becomes a metal at a pressure of between 40 and 170 thousand times atmospheric pressure; some materials regarded as metals can become nonmetals. Sodium, for example, becomes a nonmetal at pressure of just under two million times atmospheric pressure. In chemistry, two elements that would otherwise qualify as brittle metals—arsenic and antimony—are instead recognised as metalloids, on account of their predominately non-metallic chemistry. Around 95 of the 118 elements in the periodic table are metals; the number is inexact as the boundaries between metals and metalloids fluctuate due to a lack of universally accepted definitions of the categories involved.
In astrophysics the term "metal" is cast more to refer to all chemical elements in a star that are heavier than the lightest two and helium, not just traditional metals. A star fuses lighter atoms hydrogen and helium, into heavier atoms over its lifetime. Used in that sense, the metallicity of an astronomical object is the proportion of its matter made up of the heavier chemical elements. Metals are present in many aspects of modern life; the strength and resilience of some metals has led to their frequent use in, for example, high-rise building and bridge construction, as well as most vehicles, many home appliances, tools and railroad tracks. Precious metals were used as coinage, but in the modern era, coinage metals have extended to at least 23 of the chemical elements; the history of metals is thought to begin with the use of copper about 11,000 years ago. Gold, iron and brass were in use before the first known appearance of bronze in the 5th millennium BCE. Subsequent developments include the production of early forms of steel.
Metals are lustrous, at least when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured. Sheets of metal thicker than a few micrometres appear opaque; the solid or liquid state of metals originates in the capacity of the metal atoms involved to lose their outer shell electrons. Broadly, the forces holding an individual atom’s outer shell electrons in place are weaker than the attractive forces on the same electrons arising from interactions between the atoms in the solid or liquid metal; the electrons involved become delocalised and the atomic structure of a metal can be visualised as a collection of atoms embedded in a cloud of mobile electrons. This type of interaction is called a metallic bond; the strength of metallic bonds for different elemental metals reaches a maximum around the center of the transition metal series, as these elements have large numbers of delocalized electrons. Although most elemental metals have higher densities than most nonmetals, there is a wide variation in their densities, lithium being the least dense and osmium the most dense.
Magnesium and titanium are light metals of significant commercial importance. Their respective densities of 1.7, 2.7 and 4.5 g/cm3 can be compared to those of the older structural metals, like iron at 7.9 and copper at 8.9 g/cm3. An iron ball would thus weigh about as much as three aluminium balls. Metals are malleable and ductile, deforming under stress without cleaving; the nondirectional nature of metallic bonding is thought to contribute to the ductility of most metallic solids. In contrast, in an ionic compound like table salt, when the planes of an ionic bond slide past one another, the resultant change in location shifts ions of the same charge into close proximity, resulting in the cleavage of the crystal; such a shift is not observed in a covalently bonded crystal, such as a diamond, where fracture and crystal fragmentation occurs. Reversible elastic deformation in metals can be described by Hooke's Law for restoring forces, where the stress is linearly proportional to the strain. Heat or forces larger than a metal's elastic limit may cause a permanent deformation, known as plastic deformation or plasticity.
An applied force may be a compressive force, or a shear, bending or torsion force. A temperature change may affect the movement or displacement of structural defects in the metal such as grain boundaries, point vacancies and screw dislocations, stacking faults and twins in both crystalline and non-crystalline metals. Internal slip and metal fatigue may ensue; the atoms of metallic substances are arranged in one of three common crystal structures, namely body-centered cubic, face-centered cubic, hexagonal close-packed. In bcc, each atom is positioned at the center of a cube of eight others. In fcc and hcp, each atom is surrounded by twelve others; some metals adopt different structures depending on the temperature. The
Dungeons & Dragons
Dungeons & Dragons is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. It was first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc.. The game has been published by Wizards of the Coast since 1997, it was derived from miniature wargames, with a variation of the 1971 game Chainmail serving as the initial rule system. D&D's publication is recognized as the beginning of modern role-playing games and the role-playing game industry. D&D departs from traditional wargaming by allowing each player to create their own character to play instead of a military formation; these characters embark upon imaginary adventures within a fantasy setting. A Dungeon Master serves as the game's referee and storyteller, while maintaining the setting in which the adventures occur, playing the role of the inhabitants of the game world; the characters form a party and they interact with the setting's inhabitants and each other. Together they solve dilemmas, engage in battles, gather treasure and knowledge.
In the process, the characters earn experience points in order to rise in levels, become powerful over a series of separate gaming sessions. The early success of D&D led to a proliferation of similar game systems. Despite the competition, D&D has remained as the market leader in the role-playing game industry. In 1977, the game was split into two branches: the rules-light game system of basic Dungeons & Dragons, the more structured, rules-heavy game system of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. AD&D 2nd Edition was published in 1989. In 2000, a new system was released as D&D 3rd edition, continuing the edition numbering from AD&D; these 3rd edition rules formed the basis of the d20 System, available under the Open Game License for use by other publishers. D&D 4th edition was released in June 2008; the 5th edition of D&D, the most recent, was released during the second half of 2014. As of 2004, D&D remained the best-known, best-selling, role-playing game, with an estimated 20 million people having played the game, more than US$1 billion in book and equipment sales.
The game has been supplemented by many pre-made adventures, as well as commercial campaign settings suitable for use by regular gaming groups. D&D is known beyond the game itself for other D&D-branded products, references in popular culture, some of the controversies that have surrounded it a moral panic in the 1980s falsely linking it to Satanism and suicide; the game has been translated into many languages. Dungeons & Dragons is a open-ended role-playing game, it is played indoors with the participants seated around a tabletop. Each player controls only a single character, which represents an individual in a fictional setting; when working together as a group, these player characters are described as a "party" of adventurers, with each member having their own area of specialty which contributes to the success of the whole. During the course of play, each player directs the actions of their character and their interactions with other characters in the game; this activity is performed through the verbal impersonation of the characters by the players, while employing a variety of social and other useful cognitive skills, such as logic, basic mathematics and imagination.
A game continues over a series of meetings to complete a single adventure, longer into a series of related gaming adventures, called a "campaign". The results of the party's choices and the overall storyline for the game are determined by the Dungeon Master according to the rules of the game and the DM's interpretation of those rules; the DM selects and describes the various non-player characters that the party encounters, the settings in which these interactions occur, the outcomes of those encounters based on the players' choices and actions. Encounters take the form of battles with "monsters" – a generic term used in D&D to describe hostile beings such as animals, aberrant beings, or mythical creatures; the game's extensive rules – which cover diverse subjects such as social interactions, magic use and the effect of the environment on PCs – help the DM to make these decisions. The DM may choose to deviate from the published rules or make up new ones if they feel it is necessary; the most recent versions of the game's rules are detailed in three core rulebooks: The Player's Handbook, the Dungeon Master's Guide and the Monster Manual.
The only items required to play the game are the rulebooks, a character sheet for each player, a number of polyhedral dice. Many players use miniature figures on a grid map as a visual aid during combat; some editions of the game presume such usage. Many optional accessories are available to enhance the game, such as expansion rulebooks, pre-designed adventures and various campaign settings. Before the game begins, each player creates their player character and records the details on a character sheet. First, a player determines their character's ability scores, which consist of Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence and Charisma; each edition of the game has offered differing methods of determining these statistics. The player chooses a race such as human or elf, a character class such as fighter or wizard, an alignment, other features to round out the character's abilities and backstory, which have varied in nature through differing editions. During the game, players describe their PC's intended actions, such as punching an opponent or pi
In chemistry, an alcohol is any organic compound in which the hydroxyl functional group is bound to a carbon. The term alcohol referred to the primary alcohol ethanol, used as a drug and is the main alcohol present in alcoholic beverages. An important class of alcohols, of which methanol and ethanol are the simplest members, includes all compounds for which the general formula is CnH2n+1OH, it is these simple monoalcohols. The suffix -ol appears in the IUPAC chemical name of all substances where the hydroxyl group is the functional group with the highest priority; when a higher priority group is present in the compound, the prefix hydroxy- is used in its IUPAC name. The suffix -ol in non-IUPAC names typically indicates that the substance is an alcohol. However, many substances that contain hydroxyl functional groups have names which include neither the suffix -ol, nor the prefix hydroxy-. Alcohol distillation originated in India. During 2000 BCE, people of India used. Alcohol distillation was known to Islamic chemists as early as the eighth century.
The Arab chemist, al-Kindi, unambiguously described the distillation of wine in a treatise titled as "The Book of the chemistry of Perfume and Distillations". The Persian physician, alchemist and philosopher Rhazes is credited with the discovery of ethanol; the word "alcohol" is from a powder used as an eyeliner. Al- is the Arabic definite article, equivalent to the in English. Alcohol was used for the fine powder produced by the sublimation of the natural mineral stibnite to form antimony trisulfide Sb2S3, it was considered to be the essence or "spirit" of this mineral. It was used as an antiseptic and cosmetic; the meaning of alcohol was extended to distilled substances in general, narrowed to ethanol, when "spirits" was a synonym for hard liquor. Bartholomew Traheron, in his 1543 translation of John of Vigo, introduces the word as a term used by "barbarous" authors for "fine powder." Vigo wrote: "the barbarous auctours use alcohol, or alcofoll, for moost fine poudre."The 1657 Lexicon Chymicum, by William Johnson glosses the word as "antimonium sive stibium."
By extension, the word came to refer to any fluid obtained by distillation, including "alcohol of wine," the distilled essence of wine. Libavius in Alchymia refers to "vini alcohol vel vinum alcalisatum". Johnson glosses alcohol vini as "quando omnis superfluitas vini a vino separatur, ita ut accensum ardeat donec totum consumatur, nihilque fæcum aut phlegmatis in fundo remaneat." The word's meaning became restricted to "spirit of wine" in the 18th century and was extended to the class of substances so-called as "alcohols" in modern chemistry after 1850. The term ethanol was invented 1892, combining the word ethane with the "-ol" ending of "alcohol". IUPAC nomenclature is used in scientific publications and where precise identification of the substance is important in cases where the relative complexity of the molecule does not make such a systematic name unwieldy. In naming simple alcohols, the name of the alkane chain loses the terminal e and adds the suffix -ol, e.g. as in "ethanol" from the alkane chain name "ethane".
When necessary, the position of the hydroxyl group is indicated by a number between the alkane name and the -ol: propan-1-ol for CH3CH2CH2OH, propan-2-ol for CH3CHCH3. If a higher priority group is present the prefix hydroxy-is used, e.g. as in 1-hydroxy-2-propanone. In cases where the OH functional group is bonded to an sp2 carbon on an aromatic ring the molecule is known as a phenol, is named using the IUPAC rules for naming phenols. In other less formal contexts, an alcohol is called with the name of the corresponding alkyl group followed by the word "alcohol", e.g. methyl alcohol, ethyl alcohol. Propyl alcohol may be n-propyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol, depending on whether the hydroxyl group is bonded to the end or middle carbon on the straight propane chain; as described under systematic naming, if another group on the molecule takes priority, the alcohol moiety is indicated using the "hydroxy-" prefix. Alcohols are classified into primary and tertiary, based upon the number of carbon atoms connected to the carbon atom that bears the hydroxyl functional group.
The primary alcohols have general formulas RCH2OH. The simplest primary alcohol is methanol, for which R=H, the next is ethanol, for which R=CH3, the methyl group. Secondary alcohols are those of the form RR'CHOH, the simplest of, 2-propanol. For the tertiary alcohols the general form is RR'R"COH; the simplest example is tert-butanol, for which each of R, R', R" is CH3. In these shorthands, R, R', R" represent substituents, alkyl or other attached organic groups. In archaic nomenclature, alcohols can be named as derivatives of methanol using "-carbinol" as the ending. For instance, 3COH can be named trimethylcarbinol. Alcohols have a long history of myriad uses. For simple mono-alcohols, the focus on this article, the following are most important industrial alcohols: methanol for the production of formaldehyde and as a fuel additive ethanol for alcoholic beverages, fuel additive, solvent 1-propanol, 1-butanol, isobutyl alcohol for use as a solvent a
Lead is a chemical element with symbol Pb and atomic number 82. It is a heavy metal, denser than most common materials. Lead is soft and malleable, has a low melting point; when freshly cut, lead is silvery with a hint of blue. Lead has the highest atomic number of any stable element and three of its isotopes each include a major decay chain of heavier elements. Lead is a unreactive post-transition metal, its weak metallic character is illustrated by its amphoteric nature. Compounds of lead are found in the +2 oxidation state rather than the +4 state common with lighter members of the carbon group. Exceptions are limited to organolead compounds. Like the lighter members of the group, lead tends to bond with itself. Lead is extracted from its ores. Galena, a principal ore of lead bears silver, interest in which helped initiate widespread extraction and use of lead in ancient Rome. Lead production declined after the fall of Rome and did not reach comparable levels until the Industrial Revolution. In 2014, the annual global production of lead was about ten million tonnes, over half of, from recycling.
Lead's high density, low melting point and relative inertness to oxidation make it useful. These properties, combined with its relative abundance and low cost, resulted in its extensive use in construction, batteries and shot, solders, fusible alloys, white paints, leaded gasoline, radiation shielding. In the late 19th century, lead's toxicity was recognized, its use has since been phased out of many applications. However, many countries still allow the sale of products that expose humans to lead, including some types of paints and bullets. Lead is a toxin that accumulates in soft tissues and bones, it acts as a neurotoxin damaging the nervous system and interfering with the function of biological enzymes, causing neurological disorders, such as brain damage and behavioral problems. A lead atom has 82 electrons, arranged in an electron configuration of 4f145d106s26p2; the sum of lead's first and second ionization energies—the total energy required to remove the two 6p electrons—is close to that of tin, lead's upper neighbor in the carbon group.
This is unusual. The similarity of ionization energies is caused by the lanthanide contraction—the decrease in element radii from lanthanum to lutetium, the small radii of the elements from hafnium onwards; this is due to poor shielding of the nucleus by the lanthanide 4f electrons. The sum of the first four ionization energies of lead exceeds that of tin, contrary to what periodic trends would predict. Relativistic effects, which become significant in heavier atoms, contribute to this behavior. One such effect is the inert pair effect: the 6s electrons of lead become reluctant to participate in bonding, making the distance between nearest atoms in crystalline lead unusually long. Lead's lighter carbon group congeners form stable or metastable allotropes with the tetrahedrally coordinated and covalently bonded diamond cubic structure; the energy levels of their outer s- and p-orbitals are close enough to allow mixing into four hybrid sp3 orbitals. In lead, the inert pair effect increases the separation between its s- and p-orbitals, the gap cannot be overcome by the energy that would be released by extra bonds following hybridization.
Rather than having a diamond cubic structure, lead forms metallic bonds in which only the p-electrons are delocalized and shared between the Pb2+ ions. Lead has a face-centered cubic structure like the sized divalent metals calcium and strontium. Pure lead has a silvery appearance with a hint of blue, it tarnishes on contact with moist air and takes on a dull appearance, the hue of which depends on the prevailing conditions. Characteristic properties of lead include high density, malleability and high resistance to corrosion due to passivation. Lead's close-packed face-centered cubic structure and high atomic weight result in a density of 11.34 g/cm3, greater than that of common metals such as iron and zinc. This density is the origin of the idiom to go over like a lead balloon; some rarer metals are denser: tungsten and gold are both at 19.3 g/cm3, osmium—the densest metal known—has a density of 22.59 g/cm3 twice that of lead. Lead is a soft metal with a Mohs hardness of 1.5. It is somewhat ductile.
The bulk modulus of lead—a measure of its ease of compressibility—is 45.8 GPa. In comparison, that of aluminium is 75.2 GPa. Lead's tensile strength, at 12–17 MPa, is low; the melting point of lead—at 327.5 °C —is low compared to most metals. Its boiling point of 1749 °C is the lowest among the carbon group elements; the electrical resistivity of lead at 20 °C is 192 nanoohm-meters an order of magnitude higher than those of other industrial metals. Lead is a superconductor at temperatures lower than 7.19 K.
In biology and biochemistry, a lipid is a biomolecule, soluble in nonpolar solvents. Non-polar solvents are hydrocarbons used to dissolve other occurring hydrocarbon lipid molecules that do not dissolve in water, including fatty acids, sterols, fat-soluble vitamins, diglycerides and phospholipids; the functions of lipids include storing energy and acting as structural components of cell membranes. Lipids have applications in the food industries as well as in nanotechnology. Scientists sometimes broadly define lipids as amphiphilic small molecules. Biological lipids originate or in part from two distinct types of biochemical subunits or "building-blocks": ketoacyl and isoprene groups. Using this approach, lipids may be divided into eight categories: fatty acids, glycerophospholipids, sphingolipids and polyketides. Although the term "lipid" is sometimes used as a synonym for fats, fats are a subgroup of lipids called triglycerides. Lipids encompass molecules such as fatty acids and their derivatives, as well as other sterol-containing metabolites such as cholesterol.
Although humans and other mammals use various biosynthetic pathways both to break down and to synthesize lipids, some essential lipids can't be made this way and must be obtained from the diet. In 1815, Henry Braconnot classified lipids in two categories and huiles. In 1823, Michel Eugène Chevreul developed a more detailed classification, including oils, tallow, resins and volatile oils. In 1827, William Prout recognized fat, along with protein and carbohydrate, as an important nutrient for humans and animals. For a century, chemists regarded "fats" as only simple lipids made of fatty acids and glycerol, but new forms were described later. Theodore Gobley discovered phospholipids in mammalian brain and hen egg, called by him as "lecithins". Thudichum discovered in human brain some phospholipids and sphingolipids; the terms lipoid, lipin and lipid have been used with varied meanings from author to author. In 1912, Rosenbloom and Gies proposed the substitution of "lipoid" by "lipin". In 1920, Bloor introduced a new classification for "lipoids": simple lipoids, compound lipoids, the derived lipoids.
The word "lipid", which stems etymologically from the Greek lipos, was introduced in 1923 by Gabriel Bertrand. Bertrands included in the concept not only the traditional fats, but the "lipoids", with a complex constitution. In 1947, T. P. Hilditch divided lipids into "simple lipids", with greases and waxes, "complex lipids", with phospholipids and glycolipids. Fatty acids, or fatty acid residues when they are part of a lipid, are a diverse group of molecules synthesized by chain-elongation of an acetyl-CoA primer with malonyl-CoA or methylmalonyl-CoA groups in a process called fatty acid synthesis, they are made of a hydrocarbon chain. The fatty acid structure is one of the most fundamental categories of biological lipids, is used as a building-block of more structurally complex lipids; the carbon chain between four and 24 carbons long, may be saturated or unsaturated, may be attached to functional groups containing oxygen, halogens and sulfur. If a fatty acid contains a double bond, there is the possibility of either a cis or trans geometric isomerism, which affects the molecule's configuration.
Cis-double bonds cause the fatty acid chain to bend, an effect, compounded with more double bonds in the chain. Three double bonds in 18-carbon linolenic acid, the most abundant fatty-acyl chains of plant thylakoid membranes, render these membranes fluid despite environmental low-temperatures, makes linolenic acid give dominating sharp peaks in high resolution 13-C NMR spectra of chloroplasts; this in turn plays an important role in the function of cell membranes. Most occurring fatty acids are of the cis configuration, although the trans form does exist in some natural and hydrogenated fats and oils. Examples of biologically important fatty acids include the eicosanoids, derived from arachidonic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid, that include prostaglandins and thromboxanes. Docosahexaenoic acid is important in biological systems with respect to sight. Other major lipid classes in the fatty acid category are the fatty esters and fatty amides. Fatty esters include important biochemical intermediates such as wax esters, fatty acid thioester coenzyme A derivatives, fatty acid thioester ACP derivatives and fatty acid carnitines.
The fatty amides include N-acyl ethanolamines, such as the cannabinoid neurotransmitter anandamide. Glycerolipids are composed of mono-, di-, tri-substituted glycerols, the best-known being the fatty acid triesters of glycerol, called triglycerides; the word "triacylgl
Carbon is a chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6. It is nonmetallic and tetravalent—making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds, it belongs to group 14 of the periodic table. Three isotopes occur 12C and 13C being stable, while 14C is a radionuclide, decaying with a half-life of about 5,730 years. Carbon is one of the few elements known since antiquity. Carbon is the 15th most abundant element in the Earth's crust, the fourth most abundant element in the universe by mass after hydrogen and oxygen. Carbon's abundance, its unique diversity of organic compounds, its unusual ability to form polymers at the temperatures encountered on Earth enables this element to serve as a common element of all known life, it is the second most abundant element in the human body by mass after oxygen. The atoms of carbon can bond together in different ways, termed allotropes of carbon; the best known are graphite and amorphous carbon. The physical properties of carbon vary with the allotropic form.
For example, graphite is opaque and black while diamond is transparent. Graphite is soft enough to form a streak on paper, while diamond is the hardest occurring material known. Graphite is a good electrical conductor. Under normal conditions, carbon nanotubes, graphene have the highest thermal conductivities of all known materials. All carbon allotropes are solids under normal conditions, with graphite being the most thermodynamically stable form at standard temperature and pressure, they are chemically resistant and require high temperature to react with oxygen. The most common oxidation state of carbon in inorganic compounds is +4, while +2 is found in carbon monoxide and transition metal carbonyl complexes; the largest sources of inorganic carbon are limestones and carbon dioxide, but significant quantities occur in organic deposits of coal, peat and methane clathrates. Carbon forms a vast number of compounds, more than any other element, with ten million compounds described to date, yet that number is but a fraction of the number of theoretically possible compounds under standard conditions.
For this reason, carbon has been referred to as the "king of the elements". The allotropes of carbon include graphite, one of the softest known substances, diamond, the hardest occurring substance, it bonds with other small atoms, including other carbon atoms, is capable of forming multiple stable covalent bonds with suitable multivalent atoms. Carbon is known to form ten million different compounds, a large majority of all chemical compounds. Carbon has the highest sublimation point of all elements. At atmospheric pressure it has no melting point, as its triple point is at 10.8±0.2 MPa and 4,600 ± 300 K, so it sublimes at about 3,900 K. Graphite is much more reactive than diamond at standard conditions, despite being more thermodynamically stable, as its delocalised pi system is much more vulnerable to attack. For example, graphite can be oxidised by hot concentrated nitric acid at standard conditions to mellitic acid, C66, which preserves the hexagonal units of graphite while breaking up the larger structure.
Carbon sublimes in a carbon arc, which has a temperature of about 5800 K. Thus, irrespective of its allotropic form, carbon remains solid at higher temperatures than the highest-melting-point metals such as tungsten or rhenium. Although thermodynamically prone to oxidation, carbon resists oxidation more than elements such as iron and copper, which are weaker reducing agents at room temperature. Carbon is the sixth element, with a ground-state electron configuration of 1s22s22p2, of which the four outer electrons are valence electrons, its first four ionisation energies, 1086.5, 2352.6, 4620.5 and 6222.7 kJ/mol, are much higher than those of the heavier group-14 elements. The electronegativity of carbon is 2.5 higher than the heavier group-14 elements, but close to most of the nearby nonmetals, as well as some of the second- and third-row transition metals. Carbon's covalent radii are taken as 77.2 pm, 66.7 pm and 60.3 pm, although these may vary depending on coordination number and what the carbon is bonded to.
In general, covalent radius decreases with higher bond order. Carbon compounds form the basis of all known life on Earth, the carbon–nitrogen cycle provides some of the energy produced by the Sun and other stars. Although it forms an extraordinary variety of compounds, most forms of carbon are comparatively unreactive under normal conditions. At standard temperature and pressure, it resists all but the strongest oxidizers, it does not react with hydrochloric acid, chlorine or any alkalis. At elevated temperatures, carbon reacts with oxygen to form carbon oxides and will rob oxygen from metal oxides to leave the elemental metal; this exothermic reaction is used in the iron and steel industry to smelt iron and to control the carbon content of steel: Fe3O4 + 4 C → 3 Fe + 4 COCarbon monoxide can be recycled to smelt more iron: Fe3O4 + 4 CO → 3 Fe + 4 CO2with sulfur to form carbon disulfide and with steam in the coal-gas reaction: C + H2O → CO + H2. Carbon combines with some metals at high temperatures to form metallic carbides, such as the iron carbide cementite in steel and tungsten carbide used as an abrasive and for making hard tips for cutting tools.
The system of carbon allotropes spans a range of extremes: Atomic carbon is a ver