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Beta decay

  1. Apr 21, 2007 #1
    for beta decay
    n --> p + e- + antineutrino

    since neutron has quarks udd while proton has uud, only the d changes to u. is it correct to guess that it is the down quark inside the neutron which "transform" into up quark?

    ie d --> u + e- + antineutrino
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 21, 2007 #2
    Yes, though there is an intermediate state, in that the process is actually :

    [tex]d \to u + W^{-} \to u + e^{-} + \bar{\nu}_{e}[/tex]

    The intermediate step was not known about when the weak force was first being modeled because it only exists for a tiny amount of time because the W boson is so massive and unstable.
     
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