Neutron is a composite particle that is made up of quarks. A neutron is made up of two down quarks and one up quarks, which gives it a neutral charge. The total number of neutrons in a stable nucleus is used to classify the isotopes of an element. The total number of neutrons and protons in a nucleus is known as the atomic mass number. The mass of a neutron is 1.6749 ×10−27 kg. A free neutron undergoes beta decay to form a proton by emitting electron and antineutrino.

Frequently Asked Question[edit]

What happens when you split a neutron?[edit]

As neutrons are made up of quarks, splitting it with sufficient energy will separate the quarks to a longer distance with a constant strong interaction acting between them. This elongates the gluon tubes that mediate this strong interaction. Once the gluon tubes snap, a quark would immediately create an antiquark and form a new hadron. This is because of the quantum confinement phenomenon, which states that quarks cannot exist alone in nature.

Can an atom exist with just neutron and electron?[edit]

No. Neutrons do not interact with electrons. A free neutron would simply undergo beta decay.