Graphite

Graphite

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Credit: CHARLES D. WINTERS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: The mineral graphite is one of the allotropes of carbon. It was named by Abraham Gottlob Werner in 1789 from the Greek graphein (to draw/write), for its use in pencils, where it is commonly called lead, as distinguished from the actual metallic element lead. Unlike diamond (another carbon allotrope), graphite is an electrical conductor, a semimetal, and can be used, for instance, in the electrodes of an arc lamp. Graphite holds the distinction of being the most stable form of carbon under standard conditions. Therefore, it is used in thermochemistry as the standard state for defining the heat of formation of carbon compounds. Graphite may be considered the highest grade of coal, just above anthracite and alternatively called meta-anthracite, although it is not normally used as fuel because it is hard to ignite.

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Keywords: allotrope, carbon, chemistry, cylinder, geology, graphite, lead, mineral, object, pencils, science, still life

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