Considering the fact that naturally occurring neutronium, or neutron degenerate matter is created by stars more massive than the sun, it is apparent that electron-degenerate pressure is difficult to overcome.

However, would the same pressure be capable of disassembling neutronium once the force holding the neutrons together is removed?

In other words, if a small piece (a salt-grain sized piece) of neutronium is separated from a neutron star and placed in empty space, would it decay into proton and electrons again? Or would some permanent change have occurred to the matter that it cannot "reverse-transform" easily?

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    $\begingroup$ No they would not be stable. It is the gravitational field that provides the energy to raise the density and not allow the neutrons to decay $\endgroup$ – anna v Aug 8 '16 at 3:44

It would be explosively unstable; the neutrons, which thanks to degeneracy, would be travelling at speeds of a fair fraction of $c$ would fly apart. After some tens of minutes they would almost all have decayed to electrons and protons.

I provided some numbers here: What would happen to a teaspoon of neutron star material if released on Earth?


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