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Indefinite number of neutrons?

  1. Mar 17, 2009 #1
    I have a very basic question regarding the nucleus.

    I understand why you can only have a limited number of protons within the nucleus - more and more protons within the nucleus will increase the coulomb potential and cause the nucleus to be unstable.

    But why is this so for neutrons? Why couldn't I have an isotope of 50-O? The nuclear force is equally strong for n-n connections, as n-p, and p-p, so what's stopping the nucleus from having an a very large number of neutrons? When you look at a table of stable nuclides, it's pretty easy to see that most stable nuclides have equal #'s of protons and neutrons, but why is this needed? What am I missing?

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 17, 2009 #2
  4. Mar 18, 2009 #3


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    Also check out neutron drip line.

    And also, n-n can not be bound.
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