Proton decay [was: Are atoms 'perpetual machines'?]

1. Jul 8, 2008

ice109

don't all atoms decay? don't even protons decay?

2. Jul 8, 2008

Varnick

Re: Are atoms 'perpetual machines'?

To my knowledge, a proton decay has never been observed, and the two theories are either "They do not decay" or "They decay, but have a very long half-life".

V

3. Jul 8, 2008

Defennder

Re: Are atoms 'perpetual machines'?

If protons are to decay, what do they decay to?

4. Jul 13, 2008

pallidin

Re: Are atoms 'perpetual machines'?

One theory suggests that a proton, if it decays at all, decays into a positron and a neutral pion that itself then decays into 2 gamma ray photons. And apparently, other decay scenarios are possible. I read that in WiKi, but not sure how accurate I translated.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proton_decay