So simple arithmetic should tell us the number of neutrons. Carbon 10 would have 4 neutrons and Carbon 11 would have 5 neutrons, and so on.
What should catch your attention is the nature of the various carbon isotopes.
These include nitrogen (78 percent), oxygen (21 percent), argon (0.9 percent), carbon dioxide (0.03 percent), varying amounts of water vapor, and trace amounts of hydrogen, ozone, methane, carbon monoxide, helium, neon, krypton, and xenon.
Cosmic rays, which contain even higher levels of energy than ultraviolet light, cause some of the atoms in the upper atmosphere to fly apart into pieces.
To understand this process we must first understand a little bit about the atoms themselves and how they get their names.
Most carbon atoms have six positively charged protons and six uncharged neutrons.
To the left side of each C (C is the symbol for Carbon) are two numbers, the bottom number indicates the Atomic Number or the number of protons in the nucleus.
When a neutron collides into a Nitrogen-14 atom, the Nitrogen-14 turns into Carbon-14 along with a proton.
Sooner or later, one of the neutrons spits out an electron and becomes a proton.
This gives it seven protons and seven neutrons, which makes it nitrogen. As one would expect, the exponential curve of radioactive decay does not give accurate results at either extreme of the curve.
Other atoms are also named based on the number of protons they carry.
Notice in the diagram that eight different isotopes of Carbon are illustrated.Looking at the first isotope in the chart, Carbon 9 has 9 (protons neutrons).