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Electron capture/beta decay

  1. Jul 15, 2012 #1

    From what I understand, Electron Capture is when a proton absorbs an electron, converts into a neutron and releases a neutrino (p + e- = n + v.)

    I also understand that a proton is composed of two up quarks and a down quark and a neutron is composed of two down quarks and an up quark. Here is my question: when the proton absorbs the electron, is one of the up quarks converted into a down quark? If so, whats the reason behind this?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 15, 2012 #2
    Yes, that's how it works. The weak force converts the electron into the neutrino, giving off a virtual W-, and the latter is absorbed by an up quark turning it into an down.

    Notice how the total electric charge is conserved.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2012
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