Can electrons be converted into neutrons? I read it somewhere and not sure about it!
Maybe, but we sure don't know how. The standard model of particle physics does not allow for such a conversion. An electron is a fundamental particle; neutrons are composed of other fundamental particles, quarks.
String theory might offer a conceptual approach but nobody knows if particles are REALLY strings, and nobody knows if the vibrational pattern of a string can be modified to "create" another matter particle....
I got it from Wikipedia while i was reading about Betatron....
The closest any reaction gets to converting electrons into neutrons is atomic electron capture by a radioactive nucleus. In this reaction, a proton in the nucleus captures an atomic electron from the atomic K shell, converts to a neutron, and emits an anti-neutrino. See
Little too complex for me at this time as i studied about shells long back(11 years ago). Please suggest further reading that will help me to understand the very basics of particle behavior.
No. Absolutely not. This would violate the conservation of electric charge.
And violation of barion number.
A neutron will naturally decay (~ 10 minute half-life) into a proton and an electron (and some neutrino). Reverse the process and viola!
Or, if you have some electrons with energies > 17 MeV or so, if they hit stainless steel (for example), neutrons will be emitted. It's probably a case where the electron creates a shower of stuff, including gammas, the gamma is absorbed in one of the atoms of SS, and a neutron is emitted. This is why hospitals that do radiation therapy keep the high-voltage on the x-ray machines below 17 MeV.
The neutrons are more dangerous than the x-rays since they cannot be easily shielded and the biological damage from them is higher than for photons.
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