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Is the neutron uncharged or neutrally charged?


mcompengr
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The neutron consists of three quarks (and a bunch of gluons, but gluons have zero charge): two down quarks and one up quark. The down quark has electric charge -1/3. The up quark has charge +2/3. The net charge of the neutron is therefore: (-1/3) + (-1/3) + (2/3) = 0.

 

The proton is similar. It consists of two up quarks and one down quark, so its net charge is: (2/3) + (2/3) + (-1/3) = 1.

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Somewhat off-topic, if so please move, but why has the fundamental unit of charge not been 're-normalised' such that the electron now would have 3 units.

Not that it would make any difference.

In one case I have to think of a quark having 1/3 of a fundamental charge (?).

In the other, an elementary particle has 3 units of charge ( ? ).

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Somewhat off-topic, if so please move, but why has the fundamental unit of charge not been 're-normalised' such that the electron now would have 3 units.

Not that it would make any difference.

In one case I have to think of a quark having 1/3 of a fundamental charge (?).

In the other, an elementary particle has 3 units of charge ( ? ).

 

Probably because quarks always appear in bound states which have net integer charge.

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What is the difference?

 

Something that contains constituent charges can have multipole moments owing to the charge distribution, although the neutron's electric dipole moment is too small to currently measure.

Somewhat off-topic, if so please move, but why has the fundamental unit of charge not been 're-normalised' such that the electron now would have 3 units.

Not that it would make any difference.

In one case I have to think of a quark having 1/3 of a fundamental charge (?).

In the other, an elementary particle has 3 units of charge ( ? ).

 

My guess is that it's because only a small fraction of scientists study the nucleus, and there's a whole bunch of inertia behind the status quo. This is a nomenclature question — no actual physics would change.

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MigL, on 19 Oct 2014 - 11:31 PM, said:

Somewhat off-topic, if so please move, but why has the fundamental unit of charge not been 're-normalised' such that the electron now would have 3 units.

Not that it would make any difference.

In one case I have to think of a quark having 1/3 of a fundamental charge (?).

In the other, an elementary particle has 3 units of charge ( ? ).

Swansont

My guess is that it's because only a small fraction of scientists study the nucleus, and there's a whole bunch of inertia behind the status quo. This is a nomenclature question — no actual physics would change.

-----A very interesting conundrum exposed by Migl, and a very strange accurate response from Swansont. And with this you may throw over a quilt, and leave the thread to sleep. Less troubles, less headaches, for moderators.

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The way I interpreted the question, he's wondering whether the neutron is composed of charges that sum to zero, or if it just has zero charge (i.e. if quarks weren't charged).

 

I was thinking two bits would be required to represent charge in the (composite partical) universe,

but that would mean an unused state. If the universe was balanced ternary, rather than binary, then

one tri-state bit would do.

 

Simulation is huge with theroretical physics, and a model is only so good as it is close to the thing

being modeled, so maybe "ternary" hardware would be better. Yin and Yang are not enough.

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