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Carbon has been known since ancient times in the form of soot, charcoal, graphite and diamonds.Ancient cultures did not of course realize that these substances were different forms of the same element.Radiocarbon, or carbon 14, is an isotope of the element carbon that is unstable and weakly radioactive. Carbon 14 is continually being formed in the upper atmosphere by the effect of cosmic ray neutrons on nitrogen 14 atoms.It is rapidly oxidized in air to form carbon dioxide and enters the global carbon cycle.Carbon can exist in several allotropes, including graphite, diamond, amorphous carbon, fullerines and nanotubes.
Lonsdaleite is made when meteorites containing graphite hit another body, such as Earth.The C radioactive isotope is used in archaeological dating. Carbon compounds are important in many areas of the chemical industry. In 1694 he pooled resources with other chemists to buy a diamond, which they placed in a closed glass jar.They focused the sun's rays on the diamond with a magnifying glass and the diamond burnt and disappeared.