All About Carbon

Carbon And 007: Both Of Them Bond, Both Of Them Frisky

Earth Day is coming up, so all this week we're talking about our planet, global warming and the element that makes global warming possible: carbon. Carbon, as we said in Episode 1, likes to hook up with other atoms using "bonds."

Science writer Natalie Angier, referring to the impeccable British spy ("The name is Bond, James Bond") of 20-odd films, says, "There is more than one way of being a Bond. You have your suave, supple, cat-like bond, your stiff-shanked bond, your uncommitted, barely there bond," and carbon has been bonding every which way for billions of years. Everywhere you look, you will find carbon snuggling with other atoms. Let's take a tour:

Tomorrow: Breaking Carbon Bonds. (Which you do when you eat a carrot.)


Cartoonist OddTodd's last appearance on Krulwich Wonders was our essay on "How Much Does A Hurricane Weigh?"

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.