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Carbon (from Latin: carbo “coal”) is a chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6. It is nonmetallic and tetravalent—making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds. Three isotopes occur naturally, 12C and 13C being stable, while 14C is a radioactive isotope, decaying with a half-life of about 5,730 years. The atoms of carbon can bond together in different ways, termed allotropes of carbon. The best known are graphite, diamond, and amorphous carbon. The physical properties of carbon vary widely with the allotropic form.