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Protons + Neutrons + Electrons =?

  1. Sep 12, 2006 #1
    Protons + Neutrons + Electrons =???

    This question has been boggling my mind for some time, hopefully some of you can shed some light on the subject. What would happen if one were to shoot a beam of Protons, a beam of neutrons, and a beam of electrons next to eachother? I've made a little diagram below to kind of explain what i'm talking about.

    Electrons ----------------------------------------------------
    Neutrons -----------------------------------------------------
    Protons ------------------------------------------------------

    Thanks for the help..
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 12, 2006 #2
    Why do you expect something special to happen? The question seems a bit random so maby I dont quite understand your idea?

    The electrons and protons would attract eachother if they are close enough so the lines would maby converge. The neutrons would continue straight ahead unless they collide with the converging protons.
  4. Sep 29, 2006 #3
    The electrons and protons will attact one another but as the electrons are much lighter, they will move most of the distance. Therefore, the protons will still have a relatively streight path of movement
  5. Sep 29, 2006 #4


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    And what would be the final result? Would you get atoms?
  6. Sep 29, 2006 #5


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    I all depends on how close the beams are and how energetic they are: extremely close beams might produce atoms -- nucleii+elctrons -- generally speaking, the interactions between the three particles are very complex: neutrons have eletrical properties, like magnetic moments, neutrons and protons interact primarily through the strong interactions -- like pion exchange -- which can be attractive or negative depending on the spin states -- so the possibiities are endless, including the production of other particles as well as photons. It's also well known to theorists that solving the three body scattering process is at best extraordinarily difficult. If you specify the details of your proposed experiment, energy, location of wave packets, spin states,and so forth, you could make some progress, maybe.

    reilly Atkinson
  7. Sep 29, 2006 #6
    Im not too sure on this but if a proton and a electron combine, do they become a neutron like the opposite of beta decay? if so, the result would be two neutron streams which, if close enough will combine into one due to their gravitational pull on one another.
  8. Sep 29, 2006 #7


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    Yes, an electron and a proton can combine to form a neutron and a neutrino, but not very often -- low,low probability. I suspect that the probability is much higher for an electron and a proton to form a hydrogen atom. The devil is in the details.
    Reilly Atkinson
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