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I thought protons couldn't decay

  1. Dec 31, 2008 #1
    I thought protons couldn't decay and Im pretty sure I've read it a few times as well but then with B+ Decay: p -> n + e + v


    Doesn't seem to make sense to me
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 31, 2008 #2
    Right as far as I know:
    Wikipedia says:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proton_decay for more..........
  4. Dec 31, 2008 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Free protons cannot decay this way because it requires an input of energy from outside.

    Protons bound in [(added) some kinds of] nuclei can decay this way, because the total binding energy of the other protons and neutrons changes in such a way as to provide the necessary energy for the decay.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2008
  5. Dec 31, 2008 #4


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    positron emission

    Hi Ifailphysics! :smile:

    Isn't that how positrons are produced in the lab …

    you take an isotope that's top-heavy in protons (most are top-heavy in neutrons instead), and just wait :wink:

    p -> n + e+ + v?
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