Neutrons allow analysis of polymer gels' unusual attributes

Products like cosmetics, adhesives, and paints rely on a common key component: gels. Polymer gels, a gel type with unique properties, have piqued the interest of researchers because of their potential uses in medical applications.

NICER's night moves trace the X-ray sky

In this image, numerous sweeping arcs seem to congregate at various bright regions. You may wonder: What is being shown? Air traffic routes? Information moving around the global internet? Magnetic fields looping across active ...

Chandra finds stellar duos banished from galaxies

Scientists have found evidence that pairs of stars have been kicked out of their host galaxies. This discovery, made using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, is one of the clearest examples of stellar pairs being ...

page 1 from 23

Neutron

The neutron is a subatomic particle with no net electric charge and a mass slightly larger than that of a proton.

Neutrons are usually found in atomic nuclei. The nuclei of most atoms consist of protons and neutrons, which are therefore collectively referred to as nucleons. The number of protons in a nucleus is the atomic number and defines the type of element the atom forms. The number of neutrons determines the isotope of an element. For example, the carbon-12 isotope has 6 protons and 6 neutrons, while the carbon-14 isotope has 6 protons and 8 neutrons.

While bound neutrons in stable nuclei are stable, free neutrons are unstable; they undergo beta decay with a lifetime of just under 15 minutes (885.7 ± 0.8 s). Free neutrons are produced in nuclear fission and fusion. Dedicated neutron sources like research reactors and spallation sources produce free neutrons for the use in irradiation and in neutron scattering experiments.

Even though it is not a chemical element, the free neutron is sometimes included in tables of nuclides. It is then considered to have an atomic number of zero and a mass number of one.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA