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Homework Help: Potential Energy of Quarks

  1. Feb 20, 2013 #1
    Quark Model of the Neutron According to the quark model of fundamental particles, neutrons-the neutral particles in an atom's nucleus-are composed of three quarks. Two of these quarks are "down" quarks, each with a charge of ; the third quark is an "up" quark, with a charge of . This gives the neutron a net charge of zero.

    What is the electric potential energy of these three quarks, assuming they are equidistant from one another, with a separation distance of ?

    I don't even know where to start! Help!
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 21, 2013 #2
    You need to calculate the work done by the electrostatic force on each of the quarks as they are brought together from far away. So just treat them like three charged particles. The charge of the down quark is -1/3 and the up +2/3. The size of a neutron is about 2 femtometer.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
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