Can you create neutronium by colliding electrons and protons?

In summary, in a vacuum with two perfectly precise particle accelerators firing an electron and a proton at each other, the resulting neutrons will have no velocity and will accumulate at the collision point. However, this will not produce neutronium as the electrons will mostly scatter and the neutrons will be bouncing around in different directions. The timing and number of collisions will also affect the stability and decay rate of the neutrons.
  • #1
arusse02
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Suppose in a Vacuum with no external influences we have two particle accelerators pointed at each other. They're maximally precise and one fires an electron while another fires a proton. Both the electron and proton have the same amount of momentum such that their x-axis velocity completely cancels out, and because the colliders are so precise there is no y or z component velocities either. Relative to the colliders the resulting neutrons have no velocity at all. The timing of firing an electron and proton is perfect as well so the collisions all take place in the same location.

Would you start accumulating neutrons at the collision point and therefore produce neutronium? Because the decay rate is 15 minutes for the neutrons, would you be able to accumulate a large number of neutrons assuming you're firing a lot of electrons and protons?

Would this collection of neutrons be neutronium and how would it behave? What happens to the mass as you start accumulating more neutrons? When would it become a stable mass that would not decay?
 
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  • #2
Not that wiki is a valid reference source for PF, but it might provide a simple primer for more nuanced questions:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutronium
esp. the sections on isotopes and properties of neutronium
Did not know about dineutron and trineutron...
 
  • #3
arusse02 said:
Would this collection of neutrons be neutronium
No.

Most of the time the electron will merely scatter.

If the electron interacts, it will make a neutron and a neutrino, so the neutrons will be bouncing around in all sorts of directions.
 
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  • #4
@arusse02 in the case of classical physics check out Rutherford scattering. For the quantum mechanical case, the uncertainty principle prevents the certainty of a head-on collision.
 

Related to Can you create neutronium by colliding electrons and protons?

1. What is neutronium?

Neutronium is a hypothetical substance composed entirely of neutrons. It is believed to be the densest form of matter in the universe, with an estimated density of 10^17 kg/m^3.

2. Can neutronium be created?

At this time, neutronium has not been created or observed in nature. It is only a theoretical substance that has not been proven to exist.

3. How can neutronium be created?

One proposed method for creating neutronium is by colliding electrons and protons at extremely high energies. This would cause the electrons and protons to merge and form neutrons, potentially resulting in a small amount of neutronium.

4. What are the challenges of creating neutronium?

The main challenge in creating neutronium is achieving the necessary energy levels for the electron-proton collision. This would require a particle accelerator with capabilities far beyond what currently exists.

5. What would be the potential applications of neutronium?

If neutronium were to be successfully created, it could have various potential applications in fields such as astrophysics and nuclear physics. It could also provide insights into the nature of matter and the fundamental forces of the universe.

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