A Crash Course in Carbon

Carbon is the core atom of complicated structures that make living things, like us! Carbon is so crucial to living organisms scientists find it virtually impossible to conceive of life without it. Life is only a possibility on Earth due to the carbon dioxide floating around in our atmosphere and the ease with which carbon bonds with other elements.

Our modern scientific understanding of carbon (and layout of chemical compounds) comes mainly from Gilbert Lewis, the first person to conceptualise the covalent bond.

This video explores the history of our understanding of carbon, the way carbon is constructed, different types of ‘bond’ that carbon uses to form chemical compounds and the way carbon behaves when bonding with different elements.