# What are the number of types of atom in the element carbon?

Aug 16, 2017

There are about 2-3 relevant isotopes.

#### Explanation:

Most carbon chemistry is concerned with the ""^12C isotope. This is approx. 98.9% abundant. Of course, for carbon, $Z = 6$, and this means that the nucleus contains 6 neutrons, 6 neutral, massive particles.

Approx. 1% of carbon atoms are the ""^13C isotope. The nucleus is amenable to ""^13C $\text{NMR spectroscopy}$, and as such is a very important means of characterization for organic chemistry.

There is a vanishingly small percentage of ""^14C, and this has a use in radiocarbon dating.

How many neutrons are present in the nuclei of each individual isotope?