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If you calculate the ratio between the proton mass and its constituent quarks, you'll see that the quarks actually account for only 1.0% of the proton mass. A similar calculation for a neutron shows that quark masses account for 1.3% of the neutron mass. Thus for both of these particles, 99% of the mass is not simply the sum of masses of the subatomic ...


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Both protons and neutrons are made up of two types of quarks: up (u) and down (d). Protons are uud and neutrons udd. QCD, the strong force binds these quarks together into protons and neutrons (technically, the binding involves a "sea" of gluons and quark-antiquark pairs). There is an approximate symmetry of QCD called isospin. Both the u and d quarks are ...


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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 ...


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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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