# Calculate that the proton and neutron in a deuteron

## Main Question or Discussion Point

You can calculate that the proton and neutron in a deuteron spend quite some time so far away from each other, that they are outside each others force range. Why doesn't the deuteron break up? Is it because of the binding energy?

Related High Energy, Nuclear, Particle Physics News on Phys.org
Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
The binding energy is just the energy the one would have to put into the deuteron to separate the p and n. The nuclear force is responsible for binding the p and n.

I believe the probability that the p,n in a deuteron "spending quite some time so far away from each other, such that they are outside each others force range," is exceedingly small, if not nil. If that were the case, then some deuterons would spontaneously dissociate.

Maybe I didn't formulate it very clear, but what I mean is this:
http://www.shef.ac.uk/physics/teaching/phy303/303soltn1.html#sols2 [Broken]
(2nd solution)

So in this calculation it is about 64% of the time the case.
But I don't know why the deuteron doesn't dissociate...

Last edited by a moderator: