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Carbon as an element was discovered by the first person to handle charcoal from fire.
Thus, together with sulfur, iron, tin, lead, copper, mercury, silver, and gold, carbon was one of the small group of elements well known in the ancient world.
The primary source of diamonds is a soft bluish peridotic rock called kimberlite (after the famous deposit at Kimberley, South Africa), found in volcanic structures called pipes, but many diamonds occur in alluvial deposits presumably resulting from the weathering of primary sources.
Isolated finds around the world in regions where no sources are indicated have not been uncommon.
(Coals are elemental carbon mixed with varying amounts of carbon compounds.
Charcoal is used as an absorptive and filtering agent and as a fuel and was once widely used as an ingredient in gunpowder.Natural deposits are worked by crushing, by gravity and flotation separations, and by removal of diamonds by their adherence to a layer of grease on a suitable table.The following products result: (1) diamond proper—distorted cubic crystalline gem-quality stones varying from colourless to red, pink, blue, green, or yellow; (2) bort—minute dark crystals of abrasive but not gem quality; (3) ballas—randomly oriented crystals of abrasive quality; (4) macles—triangular pillow-shaped crystals that are industrially useful; and (5) carbonado—mixed diamond–graphite crystallites containing other impurities.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 (C), nonmetallic chemical element in Group 14 (IVa) of the periodic table.