A nucleon is either a proton or a neutron. A field is, as John Gribbin says, a physical quantity that has a value for each point in space and time.

But what is meant by a nucleon field?

Can anybody give a lucid explanation?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ In the sense of an effective field theory? In nuclear physics one can use an ad-hoc non-relativistic potential to describe nucleons in nuclei. That's a fairly old and partially successful theoretical method, which has lost some luster since we have a pretty good theory of the color force and since people are making advances in lattice qcd. $\endgroup$
    – CuriousOne
    Dec 21 '14 at 12:30
  • $\begingroup$ The phrase is only meaningful in the context of quantum field theories. Are you familiar with the foundational material of that method? $\endgroup$ Dec 21 '14 at 20:16
  • $\begingroup$ @CuriousOne Heck, you can use a ad hoc relativistic description too, though few people bother these days because the newer tools you name have really taken over. $\endgroup$ Dec 21 '14 at 20:17
  • $\begingroup$ @dmckee: True... but the only thing that I remember about it came from my "Nuclear physics for absolute beginners and other people who never wanted to be in this class" horror. I guess that makes me someone standing in the very shallow end of the nuclear potential. :-) $\endgroup$
    – CuriousOne
    Dec 22 '14 at 9:36
  • $\begingroup$ Quantum field theory, no not completely versed with it. $\endgroup$
    – MycrofD
    Dec 22 '14 at 9:53

Richard Feynman said "fields are just a condition of space." We have managed to elucidate a small number of fundamental forces in this world. Each force has a respective quantum field; think of it as a voxel array of tensors, or a matrix associated with every point in space. Some of these fields are of higher dimensional than others; scalars, spinors, vectors, tensors are all valid. None of these fields are called the "nucleon field". It is a made up idea.


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