How does carbon-14 form?

1 Answer
Apr 10, 2017

Carbon-14, #C^14# is a radioactive isotope of carbon with an atomic nucleus containing 6 protons and 8 neutrons.

There are three naturally occurring isotopes of carbon on Earth: 99% of the carbon is carbon-12, 1% is carbon-13, and carbon-14 occurs in trace amounts, i.e., making up about 1 or 1.5 atoms per 1012 atoms of the carbon in the atmosphere. Carbon-12 and carbon-13 are both stable, while the half-life of carbon-14 is 5,730±40 years .