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Why is a neutron ionizing radiation?

  1. Nov 7, 2014 #1
    Why and how does a neutron knock electrons off of atoms?

    Is it because a neutron is not exactly neutral? Is a neutron composed of smaller charged particles which interact with the electrons when it gets close?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 7, 2014 #2
    It does not.
    Neutron can knock out _protons_ out of atomic nuclei.
    And neutron can be absorbed by a nucleus. In many cases resultant heavier isotope is unstable to beta-decay.
     
  4. Nov 7, 2014 #3

    Nugatory

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    Staff: Mentor

    As with all questions of this sort, you will get better answers if you spend some time searching the web first, see what you find, then come back here with more specific questions based on what you learn there.

    https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/very-little-excuse-to-ask-a-question-cold.765735/
     
  5. Nov 7, 2014 #4
    Sorry
    Yes, I looked at the wikipedia article and I see that neutrons cause ionization by causing the nucleus to become unstable.
     
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