Weaver, E. Eugene Product Development Group, Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, Michigan.
Last reviewed:November 2016
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- Chemical forms and activities
- Oxides and halides
- Additional Readings
A chemical element, C, with an atomic number of 6 and an atomic weight of 12.01115. Carbon is unique in chemistry because it forms a vast number of compounds, larger than the sum total of all other elements combined. By far the largest group of these compounds are those composed of carbon and hydrogen. It has been estimated that there are at least 1,000,000 known organic compounds, and this number is increasing rapidly each year. Although the classification is not rigorous, carbon forms another series of compounds, classified as inorganic, comprising a much smaller number than the organic compounds. Carbon is a fundamental constituent of living things and has a wide variety of practical applications. See also: Organic chemistry; Periodic table
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