What is the difference between Carbon 12, 13, and 14?
The difference is the number of neutrons.
Carbon 12, 13 and 14 are carbon isotopes, meaning that they have additional neutrons:
- Carbon 12 has exactly 6 protons and 6 neutrons ( hence the 12 )
- Carbon 13 has 6 protons and 7 neutrons
- Carbon 14 has 6 protons and 8 neutrons
Because molecular mass is calculated by adding the number of protons and neutrons, you could also say that the difference between these isotopes is mass ( if you have 1 mole of each isotope, carbon 14 would have the greatest mass ).
Carbon 14 is also radioactive with a half-life of 5700 years.