Neither Here nor There Neutrons are the particles in an atom that have a neutral charge. They aren't positive like protons. They aren't negative like electrons.
Neutron , neutral subatomic particle that is a constituent of every atomic nucleus except ordinary hydrogen. It has no electric charge and a rest mass equal to 1. Neutrons and protons, commonly called nucleons , are bound together in the dense inner core of an atom , the nucleus, where they account for Developments in high-energy particle physics in the 20th century revealed that neither the neutron nor the proton is a true elementary particle ; rather, they are composites of extremely small elementary particles called quarks. The nucleus is bound together by the residual effect of the strong force , a fundamental interaction that governs the behaviour of the quarks that make up the individual protons and neutrons. The neutron was discovered in by the English physicist James Chadwick. Within a few years after this discovery, many investigators throughout the world were studying the properties and interactions of the particle. It was found that various elements, when bombarded by neutrons, undergo fission —a type of nuclear reaction that occurs when the nucleus of a heavy element is split into two nearly equal smaller fragments.
The neutron is a subatomic particle , symbol n or n 0 , with no electric charge and a mass slightly greater than that of a proton. Protons and neutrons constitute the nuclei of atoms. Since protons and neutrons behave similarly within the nucleus, and each has a mass of approximately one atomic mass unit , they are both referred to as nucleons. The chemical properties of an atom are mostly determined by the configuration of electrons that orbit the atom's heavy nucleus. The electron configuration is determined by the charge of the nucleus, set by the number of protons, or atomic number. Neutrons do not affect the electron configuration, but the sum of atomic number and the number of neutrons, or neutron number , is the mass of the nucleus. Atoms of a chemical element that differ only in neutron number are called isotopes. For example, carbon , with atomic number 6, has an abundant isotope carbon with 6 neutrons and a rare isotope carbon with 7 neutrons.
Neutron radiation is a form of ionizing radiation that presents as free neutrons. Typical phenomena are nuclear fission or nuclear fusion causing the release of free neutrons, which then react with nuclei of other atoms to form new isotopes —which, in turn, may trigger further neutron radiation. Free neutrons are unstable, decaying into a proton , an electron , plus an anti-electron-neutrino with a mean lifetime of seconds about 14 minutes, 47 seconds. Neutrons may be emitted from nuclear fusion or nuclear fission , or from other nuclear reactions such as radioactive decay or particle interactions with cosmic rays or within particle accelerators.