Chemistry
Advertisement

A neutron has no charge. Neither a lone neutron nor a particle composed only of neutrons has a charge. Chemistry is about electrons. All a nucleus is to a chemist is a tiny source of mass and positive charge to which electrons are attracted. A neutron has no charge. Neither a lone neutron nor a particle composed only of neutrons has a charge. The only interaction between electrons and neutrons is via the weak force, To a neutron, an electron looks like a neutrino does to ordinary matter.

The IUPAC definition of "element" requires it to have at least one isotope whose half-life exceeds 1,0E-14 second - because that is roughly the amount of time for a freshly-made nucleus to gather its valence electrons. In other words, unless some particle can grow the means to interact chemically, it's not an element.

Neutrons are vitally important to chemistry, but they are important because neutrons interact with protons even under such low-energy conditions as a furnace. Some nuclides become radioactive when they capture neutrons. They emit an electron (or positron) and turn into a different element, occasionally one with significantly different properties than its ancestor. That heads in directions such as medicine or materials science. Neutrons are important.

Polyneutron objects are studied by the sort of physicists who other physicists wonder about a little bit. They are really exotic, and the relevant time scale for discussing them is around 10-23 to 10-20 seconds (which is less than 3% of the time for light to cross a hydrogen atom). The concept of neutronium means asking the photons which carry electromagnetic attraction between "nucleus" and electrons to travel faster than light. Never mind that physicists don't like that idea; mathematicians tend to dislike "A does not equal A" statements.

Advertisement