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
What happens when you split a neutron?
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?
No. Neutrons do not interact with electrons. A free neutron would simply undergo beta decay.