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Maybe I should add that nuclei which are unstable to beta decay can still exist for quite some time. However, beyond the limit of beta-stability, there comes a point at which it is energetically favorable for a nucleus to decay by emitting a neutron. Another way of putting this is that the last neutron is not bound within the nucleus. This point in an ...


Effectively there is a maximum number, or rather producing more and more neutron-rich isotopes requires energy. You can think of it this way. Identical particles are affected by the Pauli exclusion principle; this applies to neutrons in the nucleus. Therefore a stack of neutrons will fill up the lowest energy states, but will then have to occupy higher ...

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