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Neutrons and uncertainty principle

  1. Mar 4, 2014 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Using the Uncertainty Principle show arithmetically that neutrons can't be formed by a proton and an electron.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I can see that if neutrons were made out of a proton and an electron they would just attract each until they were together, and after that their momentums would be 0 and we could also know their position, by I don't know how to show it arithmetically.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 5, 2014 #2


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    Uncertainy principle doesn't sound like doing a momentum balance.
    What is the context of this exercise ? I mean, from the rest masses you miss 0.782 MeV/c2, so ΔEΔt > h/4π leaves you with a very short Δt, but who says the electron can't be shot at the proton with a hefty kinetic energy ?
  4. Mar 5, 2014 #3
    There is no context, that is the whole question. Its on a nuclear physics course, if that helps.

    What do you mean yu miss 0.782 MeV/c2 from the masses?
  5. Mar 5, 2014 #4


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    if you look up p, n, e rest mass and calculate the difference n - p - e
  6. Mar 5, 2014 #5
    Ah, I see. And that difference is related to ΔE?
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