MadSci Network: Physics

Subject: Why do most hydrogen atoms have no neutron?

Date: Wed Sep 6 12:07:14 2006
Posted by George Gourley
Grade level: undergrad School: No school entered.
City: Denver State/Province: CO Country: USA
Area of science: Physics
ID: 1157569634.Ph

Why do hydrogen atoms have no neutron while most other atoms have an aproximate
balance between protons & neutrons?

Is it because Hydrogen atoms are sort of 'virgin' since the big bang & just
haven't picked up a neutron? If so is it also possible that neutrons are
secondary [produced later, perhaps in the hearts of stars] particles that were
not available during the early universe? Or is it simply that they have no
charge to draw them to the hydrogen's proton? If that is true then why would
other, larger atoms have drawn neutrons to their nuclei? Perhaps because the
gravity of stars could pull stray neutrons in?

Is it because the vector speed & jaring reaction stops of a hydrogen atom create
sufficient energy to overcome the nuclear force that holds protons & neutrons
together? If that is the case wouldn't heavy water(s) tend to be radioactive?

Re: Why do most hydrogen atoms have no neutron?

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