Carbon is a chemical element with the symbol C and atomic number 6. It is a group 14, non-metallic, tetravalent element, that presents several allotropic forms of which the best known are graphite (the thermodynamically stable form under normal conditions), diamond, and amorphous carbon. There are three naturally occurring isotopes: 12C and 13C are stable, and 14C is radioactive, decaying with a half-life of about 5700 years. Carbon is one of the few elements known to man since antiquity. The name "carbon" comes from Latin language carbo, coal, and in some Romance languages, the word carbon can refer both to the element and to coal.
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