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A neutron is a subatomic particle. It has no charge and its mass is approximately equal to that of a proton (1.67×10−27 kg). The number of neutrons that an atom possesses determines neutron number and thus its isotope. It occupies the nucleus of an atom along with another subatomic particle - the proton, where they majority of the mass of an atom is found.

A Neutron is a sub atomic particle with no charge and an atomic weight of 1.67x10-17 Kg. They are important in the nucleus as they bind to the protons by the strong force. However free neutrons, produced in nuclear fission and nuclear fusion, are unstable and undergo Beta decay. Those produced in nuclear fission perpetuate the nuclear chain reaction. Neutrons are hadrons consisting of an up quark and two down quarks. It's anti-particle is the antineutron.

Possible application of neutrons in Biology, or neutron scattering

Why use neutrons?

Neutrons are perfect for studying Biological structures of different complexity. They can be used to analyse isolated protein complexes, or even molecular dynamics of whole cells [1].  The reason for wide range of possible usage for neutrons is their unique properties. The similarity of wavelength to the distance between atoms gives opportunity to study the structures with atomic resolution, while the energy similarities allows study structures dynamics. Lac of charge allows deep penetration into matter, as well as does not enhance the scattering due to electron and nucleus charges. The similar scattering by light and heavy atoms and suitable magnetic moment allows magnetism studies[2].


  1. J. R. Soc. Interface (2009) 6, S5674-S573
  2. J. L. Baudet, (2011). Neutron Scattering. IOP
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