Diamonds and graphite are two forms of what nonmetal?

Apr 18, 2016

Diamond and graphite are made out of carbon atoms.

Explanation:

Diamond and graphite are made out of carbon atoms.

The difference between the two substance is the arrangement of the carbon atoms inside each one.

The arrangement of carbon atoms in diamond is tetrahedral and therefore the hybridization of carbon atoms is $s {p}^{3}$.

Note that diamond is an insulator since it has no free electrons to conduct electricity.

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The arrangement of carbon atoms in graphite is trigonal planar and therefore the hybridization of carbon atoms is $s {p}^{2}$.

Note that graphite conducts electricity thanks to the free electrons in their $p$ orbitals that are shared between the graphite layers to form a $\pi$ bond.

$\textcolor{g r e y}{\text{Images source: Zumdahl textbook 9th edition}}$