Main Difference – Carbon 12 vs Carbon 14

Some aspects can exist in different forms well-known as isotopes. Isotopes of an aspect contain the same number of electrons and protons, but a different number of neutrons. Hence, also if it has the very same facet, their mass is various. The mass variety of an element is the sum of neutrons and also prolots in its nucleus. Therefore, isotopes are deprovided by their mass number. For instance, carbon is an facet that exists in three forms; in various other words, carbon has 3 isotopes: carbon-12, carbon-13 and carbon-14. The mass variety of carbon-12 is twelve as it contains 6 neutrons and also 6 prolots. Likewise, carbon-13 isotope consists of 7 neutrons and 6 prolots, while carbon-14 isotope has 8 neutrons and 6 prolots. Many facets with isotopes have one major isotope existing abundantly in nature while the rest of the isotopes current in exceptionally tiny proparts. Hence, when considering the relative atomic mass of an aspect, it is generally assumed that the family member mass number is equal to the mass number of the major or abundantly existing isotope. The major distinction between carbon 12 and carbon 14 isotopes is their stability; carbon 12 isotope is even more stable than carbon 14.

You are watching: Compare the structure of carbon-12 and carbon-14

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Carbon 12 – Definition, Structure, Properties 2. What is Carbon 14 – Definition, Structure, Properties 3. What is the distinction in between Carbon 12 and Carbon 14 – Comparikid of Key Differences

Key Terms: Isotopes, Carbon, Carbon Isotopes, Mass Number, Neutrons, Carbon 12, Carbon 14, Radioactivity, Avogadro Constant


What is Carbon 12

Carbon-12 isotope is the a lot of plentiful carbon isotope that renders up of around 98.89% of all normally developing carbon. It is discovered in all biological systems. Carbon-12 atom includes 6 neutrons and also 6 protons in its nucleus. Carbon-12 isotope is secure and also not radioenergetic. Because of this, it does not degeneration, unprefer carbon-14. Carbon-12 atom is supplied to define the relative atomic mass range, where the masses of various other atoms are compared through the mass of an atom of the carbon-12 isotope. Here, carbon-12 is taken as the typical atom. The relative atomic mass (RAM) of aspects is shown in the periodic table. Similar to the RAM, the mole is based on the carbon-12 isotope. The number of atoms in 12.00 g of carbon-12 is taken as the conventional to specify the mole. The specific variety of atoms in 12 g of carbon-12 is discovered to be 6.02 x 1023. An Italian Chemist, Amedeo Avogadro discovered this number in the nineteenth century. This number is characterized as the Avogadro constant. The unit of Avogadro continuous is mol-1.


Figure 1: Formation and degeneration of Carbon-14

Difference Between Carbon 12 and Carbon 14

Mass Number

Carbon-12: Mass variety of Carbon-12 is twelve.

Carbon-14: Mass number of Carbon-14 is fourteen.

Number of Neutrons in an Atom 

Carbon-12: Carbon-12 has actually 6 neutrons.

Carbon-14: Carbon-14 has actually eight neutrons.


Carbon-12: Carbon-12 is secure.

Carbon-14: Carbon-14 is unsecure.


Carbon-12: Carbon-12 is not radioactive.

Carbon-14: Carbon-14 is radioenergetic.


Carbon-12: Carbon-12 is the building block of all biological systems.

Carbon-14: Carbon-14 is offered to measure the age of fossils that dates ago to 50,000 years.

Isotope Distribution

Carbon-12: Carbon-12 is uncovered in 99% of all normally occurring carbons.

Carbon-14: Carbon-124 makes up less than 0.01% of all naturally occurring carbons.


Carbon-12 and also carbon-14 are two kinds of isotopes of carbon. Carbon-12 is the a lot of plentiful isotope of carbon and also is steady due to the lack of radioactivity. However, carbon-14 is not steady due to its radiotask. Because of that carbon-14 is found incredibly seldom in biological devices. This is the distinction in between carbon-12 and also carbon-14.

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1.Breithaupt, Jim. Physics (Palgrave Foundations Series). N.p.: Palgrave Macmillan;, 2010. Publish. 2.Knorr, Susan. Learning about atoms. Greensboro, NC: Mark Twain Media, 2004. Print.

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