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so i get that when there is an excess of neutrons, neutron is converted into a proton. An electron is produced to neutralise the +1 charge of proton. But why is an anti neutrino produced?

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marked as duplicate by StephenG, Carl Brannen, Ben Crowell, John Rennie, Qmechanic Apr 26 at 5:51

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The neutrinos were postulated by Pauli in order to have the conservation of energy, momentum and angular momentum in beta decay. The conversion of a neutron to a proton, an electron and an (electron) antineutrino is an example of a beta decay.

In these reactions, we have the conservation of lepton number. We had zero electrons and neutrinos before the decay of the neutron (lepton number $0$) and after the decay we have one proton (lepton number $0$), one electron (lepton number $+1$) and one (electron) antineutrino (lepton number $-1$). So, we have called that particle an antineutrino, and it has a negative lepton number.

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