Carbon – Life’s Most Essential Building Block

Today on Discovery Enterprise we focus our attention on the sixth element of periodic table -Carbon. The element carbon forms the basis of all organic and biochemAdd Imageistry, the chemistry of life itself. Life on Earth is Carbon based and we humans, to use a phrase made famous by the late Arthur C. Clarke, are “Carbon Based Bipeds”.

So on behalf of my fellow co-bloggers Dennis Chamberland, Ralph Buttigieg and Michael Lombardi I bid you all – Greetings, fellow carbon based bipeds and any other sentient carbon based life forms that harbor nothing but good will towards our fellow inhabitants of planet Earth.Join us as we explore the one essential ingredient that links all life on Earth and perhaps elsewhere in the Cosmos.

All life forms, including us, are built upon atoms of carbon. But modern technology is also built on a foundation of carbon. Modern Marvels: Carbon explores how such a simple element burns hotter, cuts deeper, dies harder, insulates more thoroughly, and absorbs more fully than any other material.

From diamonds to coal, carbon fiber race cars to graphite pencils, you’ll see why carbon is not just the stuff of life, but the key to modern technology. You’ll also learn why “activated carbon” is the material of choice for absorbing everything from toxic heavy metals in your drinking water to funky odors in your shoes. And you’ll see how NASA is using carbon aerogel, the lightest, most insulating substance in the world, to search for clues about-you guessed it-carbon-based life forms.

Copyright: History Channel

Modern Marvels – Carbon


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