Jaffe, Robert L. Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
- Proton-neutron differences
- Structure and dynamics
- Quantum chromodynamics
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The collective name for a proton or a neutron. These subatomic particles are the principal constituents of atomic nuclei and therefore of most of the ordinary matter in the universe (exclusive of dark matter). The proton and neutron share many characteristics. They have the same intrinsic spin, nearly the same mass, and similar interactions with other subatomic particles, and they can transform into one another by means of the weak interactions. Hence it is often useful to view them as two different states or configurations of the same particle, the nucleon. Nucleons are small compared to atomic dimensions and relatively heavy. Their characteristic size is of order 1/100,000 the size of a typical atom, and their mass is of order 2000 times the mass of the electron. See also: I-spin
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