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Atom composition, fermions

  1. Oct 7, 2011 #1

    i have been reading this book about antimatter, "Antimatter" by Frank Close, and have a question. CAN ATOMS BE COMPRISED OF DIFFERENT FERMIONS OTHER THAN PROTONS, NEUTRONS, AND ELECTRONS? could they be comprised of those fermions if they have the same charges as protons, neutrons, and electrons, but were just bigger or smaller? sorry if the answer to this question is obvious. i have never taken a physics class and this is the first book about it that i have read. thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 8, 2011 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
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    Actually yes. One example is muon-catalyzed fusion, where a muon replaces an electron in a hydrogen atom or molecule. However a muon and all other fermions other than the normal 3 are unstable and will quickly decay.
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