What is unique about carbon and carbon-based compounds? Why did life evolve around carbon?
Carbon is the chemical element with the symbol C and atomic number 6 (contains 6 protons in its nucleus). As a member of group 14 on the periodic table, it is nonmetallic and tetravalent—making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds. The most common isotope of carbon has 6 protons and 6 neutrons, and has an atomic mass of 12.0107 amu. Its ground state electron configuration is 1s22s22p2. Its oxidation state ranges from 4 to -4, and it has an electronegativity value of 2.55 on the Pauling scale. It is a solid, and sublimes at 3,642 °C (it has the highest sublimation point of all the elements).
Unique character of carbon :
The ability of carbon to bond to itself to make a host of compounds makes it ideal as a base for the complexities of the chemistry of life. Simple carbon chains can be lengthened and have functionality added to form useful polymers. Even in its elemental form, carbon can form sheets, tubes, complex geodesic structures and crystals. Yes, carbon is special because carbon bonds to itself.
life evolve around carbon
Because carbon is the most flexible light atom. It has 4 valence electrons. That allows it to bond to up to 4 other atoms in a molecule, more than any other common element except...