2
$\begingroup$

On seeing this graph closely I noticed the there a element with no proton. But with no proton there will be no electron too and don't think that an lone neutron would form an element. So is that given a half-life on neutron OR there exist a element (isotope) with no electron?

$\endgroup$
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ No, that is not a chemical element, it is an isolated neutron with a lifetime of few minutes. It undergoes beta decay into a proton, an electron and an antineutrino. $\endgroup$ – Wildcat May 31 '15 at 17:40
  • $\begingroup$ It's but a matter of convention. You may consider there is an element with atomic number 0 (BTW, recently a tetraneutron has been supposedly discovered, which would be another isotope of it). Instability is not a big deal; a good many respectable elements are unstable. But it would be an element without chemistry. $\endgroup$ – Ivan Neretin Feb 6 '16 at 9:10
8
$\begingroup$

A free neutron is not considered to be an element and there is no element that does not have at least one proton.

Free neutrons could be included on the graph as they are unstable and decay with a half life of around 10 minutes ($611.0\pm1.0~\mathrm{s}$) although most versions I have seen do not usually include them as they aren't really nuclei which is what the graph is about.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.