# What happens to the electron in a beta minus decay?

We know that in a beta minus decay the neutron decays into a proton, electron and electron antineutrino. So let's assume we have a vacuum chamber full of free neutrons which after sometime decay in to its decay products.

So when the neutron gets decayed into a proton does the proton capture the electron which was emitted during the decay process? What will happen to all the electrons in that chamber which were emitted during the decay?

Thanks!

• Are you asking about a magic inert chamber, or a real vacuum chamber? Jun 12 '17 at 14:43
• @JonCuster vacuum chamber Jun 13 '17 at 5:44

However: because the neutron decay involves three objects, the distribution of energy and momentum among the electron, proton, and neutrino is random. The total energy released in the decay is roughly 750,000 eV, which is typically shared more-or-less equally between the electron and the neutrino. However, if the neutrino carries away so much of the energy that the electron and proton together have less that 13 eV, the binding energy of the hydrogen atom, then it is possible for the electron to be immediately captured. This is called "bound beta decay", $\rm n \to H+\bar\nu_e$. As of 2014 this process has not been observed.