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In such a situation, one might notice that the copied image of the signature looks as though it were signed in pencil.

This is not surprising, considering that pencil "lead" is, in fact, a mixture of graphite, clay, and wax.

In fact, an entire branch of chemistry is devoted to answering these theoretical questions, as well as to determining solutions to a host of other, more practical problems.

Organic chemistry is the study of carbon, its compounds, and their properties.

Whereas graphite is in the form of sheets, a diamond is basically a huge "molecule" composed of carbon atoms strung together by covalent bonds.

Industrial diamonds are small, dark, and cloudy in appearance, and though they have the same chemical properties as gem-quality diamonds, they are cut with functionality (rather than beauty) in mind.

Actually, people born after about 1980 may have little experience with carbon paper, which was gradually phased out as photocopiers became cheaper and more readily available.

Today, carbon paper is most often encountered when signing a credit-card receipt: the signature goes through the graphite-based backing of the receipt, onto a customer copy.

Wöhler took a sample of ammonium cyanate (NH ), a waste product in the urine of mammals.

In other words, he had turned an inorganic material into a organic one, and he did so, as he observed, "without benefit of a kidney, a bladder, or a dog." It was almost as though he had created life.

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