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Heavier proton, lighter deuteron?

  1. Aug 1, 2005 #1

    the mass of a bound system of quarks (e.g. proton) is larger than the mass of its constituents. You could say this is because the mass of the system corresponds to the energy in the color field, which is larger when the quarks are closer (even if the force is weaker then).

    For a bound system of electric charges (e.g. H atom), it is the opposite: mass of bound system is smaller than mass of its constituents. I understand this is because the electric force decreases with distance, while the color force increases with distance.

    Now, we would expect a bound system of nucleons (e.g. deuteron) to have a behaviour similar to that of a system of quarks, since the strong force (force between nucleons) is just a residual color force. But this is not the case: the deuteron's mass is less than the mass of its constituents.

    Does that mean that the strong force decreases with distance? If this is so, how can you get that from a force (color) that increases with distance?

    Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 1, 2005 #2


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    Welcome to Physics Forums, bakshi!

    I have closed this thread, as you already started another (and we do not allow double posts, here in PF).

    Please continue discussion there.
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