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Chapter 14

Q. 14.8

Check the neutron beta decay reaction for the quark composition of each particle and check that the charge and baryon numbers are correct.

Step-by-Step

Verified Solution

The neutron beta decay is given by

 

n \rightarrow p+e+\bar{\nu}_{e}

 

The corresponding quark composition for each of the particles is given by

 

\text { Neutron beta decay: } \quad u d d \rightarrow u u d

 

where we don’t have to worry about the quark composition of the electron and its antineutrino because they are leptons, not hadrons. We have already checked that the quark composition of the proton gives a charge +e, so let us check that udd gives a zero charge for the neutron: (2 e / 3)+(-e / 3)+(-e / 3)=0. The baryon number on both sides is 1, because there are three quarks. In neutron beta decay a down quark becomes an up quark.

The Feynman diagram for neutron beta decay is shown in Figure 14.11.