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Art connection

Carbon is indicated by its atomic symbol, a capital C. Carbon has the atomic number six and two stable isotopes, carbon-12 and carbon-13.
Carbon has an atomic number of six, and two stable isotopes with mass numbers of twelve and thirteen, respectively. Its relative atomic mass is 12.011

How many neutrons do carbon-12 and carbon-13 have, respectively?

Isotopes

Isotopes are different forms of an element that have the same number of protons but a different number of neutrons. Some elements—such as carbon, potassium, and uranium—have naturally occurring isotopes. Carbon-12 contains six protons, six neutrons, and six electrons; therefore, it has a mass number of 12 (six protons and six neutrons). Carbon-14 contains six protons, eight neutrons, and six electrons; its atomic mass is 14 (six protons and eight neutrons). These two alternate forms of carbon are isotopes. Some isotopes may emit neutrons, protons, and electrons, and attain a more stable atomic configuration (lower level of potential energy); these are radioactive isotopes, or radioisotopes . Radioactive decay (carbon-14 losing neutrons to eventually become carbon-12) describes the energy loss that occurs when an unstable atom’s nucleus releases radiation.

Evolution connection

Carbon dating

Carbon is normally present in the atmosphere in the form of gaseous compounds like carbon dioxide and methane. Carbon-14 ( 14 C) is a naturally occurring radioisotope that is created in the atmosphere from atmospheric 14 N (nitrogen) by the addition of a neutron and the loss of a proton because of cosmic rays. This is a continuous process, so more 14 C is always being created. As a living organism incorporates 14 C initially as carbon dioxide fixed in the process of photosynthesis, the relative amount of 14 C in its body is equal to the concentration of 14 C in the atmosphere. When an organism dies, it is no longer ingesting 14 C, so the ratio between 14 C and 12 C will decline as 14 C decays gradually to 14 N by a process called beta decay—the emission of electrons or positrons. This decay gives off energy in a slow process.

After approximately 5,730 years, half of the starting concentration of 14 C will have been converted back to 14 N. The time it takes for half of the original concentration of an isotope to decay back to its more stable form is called its half-life. Because the half-life of 14 C is long, it is used to date formerly living objects such as old bones or wood. Comparing the ratio of the 14 C concentration found in an object to the amount of 14 C detected in the atmosphere, the amount of the isotope that has not yet decayed can be determined. On the basis of this amount, the age of the material, such as the pygmy mammoth shown in [link] , can be calculated with accuracy if it is not much older than about 50,000 years. Other elements have isotopes with different half lives. For example, 40 K (potassium-40) has a half-life of 1.25 billion years, and 235 U (Uranium 235) has a half-life of about 700 million years. Through the use of radiometric dating, scientists can study the age of fossils or other remains of extinct organisms to understand how organisms have evolved from earlier species.

Photo shows scientists unearthing a mammoth skeleton.
The age of carbon-containing remains less than about 50,000 years old, such as this pygmy mammoth, can be determined using carbon dating. (credit: Bill Faulkner, NPS)

Questions & Answers

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Ice
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is the movement's of water & mineral salts from the reason of highly concentrated to the reason of low concentration across semi permeable membrane & it take place in plant
Okello
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Enock
Which of the following statements regarding membrane transport is false? 1. Glucose is transported only by facilitated diffusion 2.Each protein carrier will only bind and b transport one type of solute.
#2. Each protein carrier will only bind and b transport one type of soluble
Only
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garaadmaxamed
is the study of living things
garaadmaxamed
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Chan
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is the study of all living things
Motinga
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ketchem
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Mohamed
deoxybonucliec acid
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Source:  OpenStax, Biology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 29, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11448/1.10
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