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Single Idea 21138

[catalogued under 27. Natural Reality / B. Modern Physics / 4. Standard Model / e. Protons]

Full Idea

The proton (938.3 MeV) is lighter than the neutron (939.6 MeV) and does not decay, but the heavier neutron can change into a proton by emitting an electron. (If you gather a bucketful of neutrons, after ten minutes only half of them would be left).

Gist of Idea

Neutrons are slightly heavier than protons, and decay into them by emitting an electron


New Scientist writers (Why the Universe Exists [2017], 01)

A Reaction

Protons are more or less eternal, but some theories have them decaying after billions of years. Smashing protons together is a popular pastime for physicists.

Book Reference

New Scientist writers: 'Why the Universe Exists' [John Murray 2017], p.5

Related Idea

Idea 21141 Neutrinos were proposed as the missing energy in neutron beta decay [New Sci.]