What is carbon dating used for

This exothermic reaction is used in the iron and steel industry to smelt iron and to control the carbon content of steel: Carbon combines with some metals at high temperatures to form metallic carbides, such as the iron carbide cementite in steel, and tungsten carbide, widely 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 very short-lived species and, therefore, carbon is stabilized in various multi-atomic structures with different molecular configurations called allotropes.

It bonds readily with other small atoms including other carbon atoms, and is capable of forming multiple stable covalent bonds with suitable, multivalent atoms.

Carbon is known to form almost ten million different compounds, a large majority of all chemical compounds.

They are chemically resistant and require high temperature to react even 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.

"coal") 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. Carbon is the 15th most abundant element in the Earth's crust, and the fourth most abundant element in the universe by mass after hydrogen, helium, and oxygen.

For example, graphite is opaque and black while diamond is highly transparent.

Graphite is soft enough to form a streak on paper (hence its name, from the Greek verb "γράφειν" which means "to write"), while diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material known.

Graphite is a good electrical conductor while diamond has a low electrical conductivity.

It does not react with sulfuric acid, 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.

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Under normal conditions, diamond, carbon nanotubes, and graphene have the highest thermal conductivities of all known materials.

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