# Partial width

1. Sep 23, 2007

### Soff

I found following statement in a text book about nuclear physics:

Does this mean that when the decay width alpha is quite large, a given nucleon is likely to decay by emitting an alpha particle? Or does the decay width mainly depend on the properties of the alpha particle?

2. Sep 24, 2007

### Meir Achuz

What does the quote you show have to do with alpha particles?

3. Sep 28, 2007

### Soff

I finally found the right solution:

Since the alpha particle has a very long lifetime, it randomly decays. Therefore:

$$\Gamma_{\alpha}<<1$$

On the other hand, a neutron decays very easily, what means:

$$\Gamma_{n}>>1$$

Last edited: Sep 28, 2007
4. Oct 1, 2007

### Meir Achuz

The alpha particle is stable.
The neutron has a relatively long lifetime.
\Gamma>>1 is wrong dimensionally.