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Yet another form, called amorphous carbon, has no crystalline structure.Other forms—such as coke—are sometimes called amorphous, but X-ray examination has revealed that these substances do possess a low degree of crystallinity.Carbon is the cosmic product of the “burning” of helium, in which three helium nuclei, atomic number 4, fuse to produce a carbon nucleus, atomic number 12.
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Carbon (C), nonmetallic chemical element in Group 14 (IVa) of the periodic table.
Although widely distributed in nature, carbon is not particularly plentiful—it makes up only about 0.025 percent of Earth’s crust—yet it forms more compounds than all the other elements combined.
Modern carbon chemistry dates from the development of coals, petroleum, and natural gas as fuels and from the elucidation of synthetic organic chemistry, both substantially developed since the 1800s.buckerminsterfullerenes, or “buckyballs,” and cylindrical fullerenes are called nanotubes.
A fourth form, called Q-carbon, is crystalline and magnetic.
Before the discovery in 1779 that graphite when burned in air forms carbon dioxide, graphite was confused with both the metal lead and a superficially similar substance, the mineral molybdenite.