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How come there are no neutron atoms?

  1. Jan 19, 2010 #1
    Straight forward question. What would prevent the process of a giant lump of neutrons from forming a stable nucleus?
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  3. Jan 19, 2010 #2


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    The strong nuclear force
    Because neutrons have the same spin they cannot occupy the same energy level, so a nucleus of just neutrons can't get into the lowest energy state and so isn't stable,

    Neutron stars could be thought of as a single nucleus of just neutrons - but they need gravity (and a lot of it) to hold them together
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
  4. Jan 19, 2010 #3


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    There has been some talk about an element 0 - a nucleus with only neutrons. Wiki has some things to say on this neutronium element.
  5. Jan 19, 2010 #4


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    Stand alone neutrons decay into proton + electron + neutrino.
  6. Jan 19, 2010 #5
    O.K,what sort of "atom" should we get from an uncharged nucleus?.What sort of chemistry would you expect?.Study the issue.Read Pais,"Inward Bound" and study the references at the chapter ends.Imagine a world with electromagnetism "switched-off",and then compare the proton/neutron.Are they different in such a world?,...,why is the quark-model such a good classification scheme?.Read Riordan "The Hunting Of The Quark".Study,...
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