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Can neutrons be used to stablize other particles?

  1. Aug 9, 2005 #1
    I was wondering that if neutrons stablize that atomic nuclei then it should stablize other systems.

    Or can other particles be stablized by the proton,electron or neutron?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 9, 2005 #2


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    Er.. come again?

    I add a neutron to Carbon-12. Do you think it has stablized the atom? What if I add another neutron? Do you think Carbon-14 is more stable than Carbon-12?

    What about hydrogen and deutrium? Which do you think is more stable, the one without a neutron, or the one with a neutron?

    <scratching head>

  4. Aug 9, 2005 #3
    Perhaps the initial question was asking about the unstable state of the di-proton [P-P], and how it is made "more stable" by the addition of a neutron to form helium-3 [P-N-P] ? Many other examples of course exist, carbon-11 is beta unstable, carbon-12 stable after a neutron added. Boron-8 unstable, boron-10 stable (here we have an example of an isotope becoming more stable with the addition of two neutrons). The list goes on and on....so, the question of Quasiterium should perhaps be restated...why does the addition of neutrons stabilize some nuclei and not others ?
  5. Aug 10, 2005 #4


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    There is (roughly) an optimum proton/neutron ratio for each element. For lighter elements, it tends to be 1-1, while for heavier elements, there are more neutrons. In any case too many or too few neutrons tends to be unstable.
  6. Aug 17, 2005 #5
    Here is a link to an up-to-date chart showing all stable and unstable isotopes:

    As indicated by Mathman, the proton/neutron ratio tends to be 1:1 or less for all stable isotopes, with the exception of helium-3 [P-N-P] which has a 2:1 ratio.

    But note also the complete lack of any stable isotopes for elements Tc (Z=43) and Pm (Z=61) in the range of stable isotopes from Z = 1-82 :confused: Does anyone know how the Standard Model explains why Tc and Pm are missing stable isotopes ?--this interesting fact is missing from discussion in the nuclear physics books that I have read. Seems to me that if the Standard Model cannot explain why these two elements have missing stable isotopes, then it is an incomplete model of the atomic nucleus.
  7. Aug 17, 2005 #6


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    I presume that there are explanations in the texts which address the general question of stability. Tc and Pm just happened to have bad luck in having no stable isotopes.
  8. Aug 18, 2005 #7
    As Tina Turner would say, "What's luck got to do with QM" ? Let us hope that QM can explain the reason why Tc and Pm have no stable isotopes, or I hold that this fact alone would falsifies QM as being a complete hypothesis. Really, does not anyone have a reference from an introductory textbook or a peer review paper on nuclear physics to explain lack of stable isotopes for Tc and Pm ? --I have not yet found any.
  9. Aug 18, 2005 #8
    the nteutron stable elements cause they give more attraction that can work against the repulsive repilation of the protons. but they also give it a lower energy state.
  10. Aug 19, 2005 #9


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    QM mechanics expains why some isotopes are stable and others are not. Tc amd Pm isotopes all happen to be unstable - nothing particularly mysterious about that. That's why I said these elements are unlucky.
  11. Aug 19, 2005 #10
    It is not clear to me that QM explains why the "elements" Tc and Pm have no stable isotopes, yet elements both before and after on the Serge plot do have stable isotopes. This is why I question that QM may not be a complete hypothesis to explain the macroscopic structure of atomic nuclei--until someone fills in the details using QM formalism.
  12. Nov 23, 2011 #11
    Someone out there?
    Links to papers if known please.
    thank you.
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