Car"bon (kär"bon), n. [F. carbone, fr. L. carbo coal; cf. Skr. çrA to cook.] (Chem.)

An elementary substance, not metallic in its nature, which is present in all organic compounds. Atomic weight 11.97. Symbol C. it is combustible, and forms the base of lampblack and charcoal, and enters largely into mineral coals. In its pure crystallized state it constitutes the diamond, the hardest of known substances, occuring in monometric crystals like the octahedron, etc. Another modification is graphite, or blacklead, and in this it is soft, and occurs in hexagonal prisms or tables. When united with oxygen it forms carbon dioxide, commonly called carbonic acid, or carbonic oxide, according to the proportions of the oxygen; when united with hydrogen, it forms various compounds called hydrocarbons. Compare Diamond, and Graphite.

Carbon compounds, Compounds of carbon (Chem.), those compounds consisting largely of carbon, commonly produced by animals and plants, and hence called organic compounds, though their synthesis may be effected in many cases in the laboratory.

The formation of the compounds of carbon is not dependent upon the life process.
I. Remsen

Carbon dioxide, Carbon monoxide. (Chem.) See under Carbonic. --
Carbon light (Elec.), an extremely brilliant electric light produced by passing a galvanic current through two carbon points kept constantly with their apexes neary in contact. --
Carbon point (Elec.), a small cylinder or bit of gas carbon moved forward by clockwork so that, as it is burned away by the electric current, it shall constantly maintain its proper relation to the opposing point. --
Carbon tissue, paper coated with gelatine and pigment, used in the autotype process of photography. Abney. --
Gas carbon, a compact variety of carbon obtained as an incrustation on the interior of gas retorts, and used for the manufacture of the carbon rods of pencils for the voltaic, arc, and for the plates of voltaic batteries, etc.


© Webster 1913

Car"bon, n. (Elec.)

A carbon rod or pencil used in an arc lamp; also, a plate or piece of carbon used as one of the elements of a voltaic battery.


© Webster 1913