Carbon is the chemical element with symbol C and atomic
number 6. As a member of group 14 on the periodic table, it is nonmetallic
and tetravalent—making four electrons available to
form covalent chemical
bonds. There are three naturally occurring isotopes, with 12C
being stable, while 14C is radioactive, decaying with a half-life
of about 5730 years.
Carbon is one of the few
elements known since antiquity.
The name "carbon" comes from Latin language carbo, coal.
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