Meaning of Neutron

What is Neutron:

A neutron is a subatomic particle that is characterized by having no electrical charge. In other words, it is one of the components that make up the atomand is located in the nucleus.

Indeed, neutrons and protons (positively charged) make up the nucleus of the atom, called in turn nucleon. The nucleon, and therefore its components, is present in all atoms except hydrogen.

It was in 1932 when the researcher James Chadwick discovered the neutron, although Ernest Rutherford had already suggested the existence of neutrons as a scientific hypothesis.


Unlike the electron, which cannot be subdivided, neutrons are made up of three particles called quarks. These quarks are distributed as follows:

  • two down quarks (which have an electrical charge of -1/3) and
  • an up quark (at +2/3 charge).

By adding both electric charges, the final result is zero coulombso the particle becomes neutral.

Because their charge is neutral, neutrons can interact with protons without electromagnetic repulsion between them. This interaction is called strong nuclear force.

The mass of neutrons is 1.675×10-27 Kg or 0.0009396 GeV (gigaelectronvolt).

Neutrons are only stable as long as they remain in the nucleus. Outside of this, they are characterized by the instability. When this happens, within minutes the neutrons decay into a antineutrino and an electron, and from there results, finally, a proton.

See also:

  • Atom
  • Electron
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