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- Why don't neutrons cluster on their own? 3 answers
In most atomic nuclei there are both protons and neutrons.
Having a poor understanding of the strong interaction, it puzzles me why a nucleus must consist of both. Namely, why can there not be nucleus-like clusters of neutron, assuming both nucleons interact in similar ways in terms of strong interaction. This confusion is worsened by the fact that such a cluster would appear to be more stable than real nuclei, since there is no need to overcome the electrostatic repulsion between protons.
Hence the question: why do naturally occurring, stable nuclei necessarily contain both protons and neutrons? (with the exception of hydrogen nucleus)