# Is a neutron star basically an isotope?

Since a neutron star is basically just a vast amount of densely packed neutrons, I was wondering whether those neutrons form a single "atom" (of atomic number zero) or whether they are further apart and in a QFT-sense isolated?

• The complex shell structure of neutron stars is driven by gravity and thermodynamics while the nuclear shell structure is a consequence of quantum mechanics. Unless you are also prepared to make a statement like "a planet is just a large molecule", then the answer is negative. – CuriousOne Sep 13 '15 at 19:38
• Please don't confound an atom with an isotope. They are related concepts but not the same. – Gert Sep 13 '15 at 19:57
• @Gert I'm well aware of that, though my question's formulation probably doesn't convey that very well... – Tobias Kienzler Sep 13 '15 at 19:59
• Related miniature neutron stars – rmhleo Sep 13 '15 at 21:45

Calling a neutron star a giant $Z=0$ atom would be like calling the earth, which is made of electrons, neutrons and protons, a giant atom with a giant $Z\neq 0$.