Humans first used carbon as chars from firewood in ritual paintings and primitive metallurgical processes. Natural forms of carbon have been known since antiquity, yet the knowledge of the carbon element in chemistry and its technical applications on a larger scale are a relatively recent development. The industrial revolution in Europe two centuries ago led the way to the numerous applications of these graphitic forms that are still used today. Graphite and Precursors features short tutorial articles on different topics related to the science and technology of carbons intended for engineers, students of Materials Science and scientists who are seeking a fundamental understanding without "reinventing the wheel." This first volume of the World of Carbon book series focuses on graphite and its precursors, including its origin and various implications. The basic properties of hexagonal graphite are developed, and several theoretical and experimental approaches explain why this crystalline solid is fascinating in solid state physics.
Also featured are the numerous applications connected to thermal, mechanical and chemical graphites, as well as their various industrial uses in polycrystalline form. Finally, carbon precursors are introduced.