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Protons decaying

  1. Feb 8, 2005 #1
    Do proton's decay?
    and if so, what do they turn into?
    and can they decay when they are in a nucleus?
    I read a theory on how the universe will end up being a sea of electrons, and what protons become when they decay.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 8, 2005 #2

    Chronos

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    Proton decay is a prediction of certain grand unification theories [GUT's]. No confirmed events have been detected and evidence to date indicates a lifespan of greater than 10E33 years... a very long time. See here for more details:
    http://hep.bu.edu/~superk/pdk.html
     
  4. Feb 8, 2005 #3

    Astronuc

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    Staff: Mentor

    Article on 'free' proton decay:
    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/particles/proton.html#c2

    In some radionuclides with a difficiency of neutrons, a proton will decay by positron emission (weak force) according to:

    [itex] p^+ = n + e^+ +\nu_e[/itex], where [itex] e^[/itex] is the positron and [itex]\nu_e[/itex] is an electron-associated neutrino. Note that it is a neutrino and not an anti-neutrino as in beta-decay. Also, this is in an atomic nucleus where the protons and neutrons are affected by the strong nuclear forces.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2005
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