Molecular Structure.
Atoms, electrons, neutrons and protons

Definition of neutron

Definition of neutron

A neutron is a subatomic particle contained in the atomic nucleus. It has no net electric charge, unlike the proton that has a positive electric charge. The number of neutrons in the atomic nucleus of an element determines the isotope to which it is a part.

Discovery of the neutron

The first clue to the existence of the neutron occurred in 1930, when Walther Bothe and Becker, H. found that when alpha radiation fell on elements such as lithium and boron, a new form of radiation was emitted.

Initially, this radiation was believed to be a type of gamma radiation, but it was more penetrating than any known gamma radiation. The work done by Irene Joliot-Curie and Joliot Frederic in 1932, although it does not refute the hypothesis of gamma radiation, does not support everything well.

In 1932, James Chadwick demonstrated that these results could not be explained by gamma rays and proposed an alternative explanation of unloaded particles of about the same size as a proton. Chadwick was able to experimentally verify this conjecture and thus prove the existence of the neutron.

Neutron details

The neutron is made up of three quarks, one quark up and two quarks down.

The mass of the neutron is slightly larger than that of the proton.

The neutron does not exist outside the atomic nucleus, just a mere 885 seconds (15 minutes) on average.

Mass: 1.67492729 × 10-27 kg
Load: 0
Spin: 1/2


Because the neutron has a 1/2 spin, it's a fermion.

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Last review: November 11, 2016