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Eldorado

The mystery of the neutron lifetime

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Eldorado

"Nine seconds. An eternity in some scientific experiments; an unimaginably small amount in the grand scheme of the universe. And just long enough to confound nuclear physicists studying the lifetime of the neutron.

"The neutron is one of the building blocks of matter, the neutral counterpart to the positive proton. Like many other subatomic particles, the neutron doesn't last long outside of the nucleus. Over the course of about 15 minutes, it breaks apart into a proton, an electron, and a tiny particle called an anti-neutrino.

"But how long the neutron takes to fall apart presents a bit of a mystery."

Full monty at Phys Org: https://phys.org/news/2020-09-mystery-neutron-lifetime.html

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