A carbon-12 atom has 6 protons, 6 neutrons, and 6 electrons. How many protons does a carbon-14 atom have?

1 Answer
May 10, 2018

Answer:

#6# protons

Explanation:

carbon-12 and carbon-14 are isotopes of the same element, carbon.

this means that they have the same number of protons and the same number of electrons - just different numbers of neutrons

the numbers 12 and 14 show the mass number of each isotope: the number of protons added to the number of neutrons.

meanwhile, the atomic number of an element is the number of protons, or the number of electrons, it has (since, in a stable atom, the number of protons and electrons are the same).

all isotopes of carbon atoms have #6# electrons and #6# protons, which is why the atomic number of carbon is #6#.

a carbon-12 atom has #6# protons, #6# neutrons, and #6# electrons, so its mass number is #12# and its atomic number is #6#.

a carbon-14 atom has #6# protons, #8# neutrons, and #6# electrons, so its mass number is #14# and its atomic number is #6#.