Carbon dating steel
Carbon chemistry is still hot enough to capture Nobel Prizes: In 2010, researchers from Japan and the United States won one for figuring out how to link carbon atoms together using palladium atoms, a method that enables the manufacture of large, complex carbon molecules, according to the Nobel Foundation.Scientists and engineers are working with these carbon nanomaterials to build materials straight out of science-fiction.And it uses them: Nearly 10 million carbon compounds have been discovered, and scientists estimate that carbon is the keystone for 95 percent of known compounds, according to the website Chemistry Explained.Carbon's incredible ability to bond with many other elements is a major reason that it is crucial to almost all life. The element was known to prehistoric humans in the form of charcoal. Arrange carbon atoms in one way, and they become soft, pliable graphite. — the atoms form diamond, one of the hardest materials in the world.
Because organisms stop taking in carbon-14 after death, scientists can use carbon-14's half-life as a sort of clock to measure how long it has been since the organism died.
Under very hot temperatures — greater than 100,000,000 Kelvin (179,999,540.6 F) — the helium nuclei begin to fuse, first as pairs into unstable 4-proton beryllium nuclei, and eventually, as enough beryllium nuclei blink into existence, into a beryllium plus a helium.
The end result: Atoms with six protons and six neutrons — carbon.
Atoms are arranged as a nucleus surrounded by an electron cloud, with electrons zinging around at different distances from the nucleus.
Chemists conceive of these distances as shells, and define the properties of atoms by what is in each shell, according to the University of California, Davis.