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Nucleas Grouping?

  1. May 18, 2010 #1
    Nucleas Grouping??

    Why do we say a nucleus is composed of protons and neutrons when those protons and neutrons are themselves composed of quarks?

    Is there really grouping to these protons and neutrons or do we just say it is composed of protons and neutrons for convenience (and that it is really just a quark clump)?

    I ask only specific to a nucleus because I know that during decays and such groups of 3 quarks (uud) will be called a proton, but is it so in a nucleus?

    If there is grouping of protons and neutrons within the nucleus, what prevents them from meshing all together to just be a quark cluster?

  2. jcsd
  3. May 18, 2010 #2


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    Re: Nucleas Grouping??

    Yes, there is grouping into protons and neutrons in the nucleus. What you call a quark cluster is called quark gluon plasma and only observed in high energy collisions of atomic nuclei for very short times. You may compare it e.g. to a solid of a noble gas. There, the atoms also don't fuse into a structureless lump but keep their identity.
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