As we have seen, the strong nuclear force is responsible for the formation of quark-containing nuclear particles of matter such as baryons and mesons. However, all of the particles we have analyzed—created in reactions due to cosmic radiation in the upper earth’s atmosphere, but mainly in high-energy particle accelerators—decay shortly after creation, except for the proton (which is stable) and the neutron only as part of the nucleus of atoms. Free neutrons decay in approximately 15 minutes into a proton, electron, and electron-antineutrino.
KeywordsElectromagnetic Force Baryon Number Nuclear Force Cosmic Radiation Particle Creation
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