Books and publications on the
interaction of systems in real time by A. C. Sturt
by A. C. Sturt
The reported characteristics of neutrons seem to contain some contradictions. The observations on which they are based are not themselves in question, but there are apparent conflicts in the conclusions drawn which suggest the presence of some more fundamental underlying phenomenon. This note proposes a reinterpretation which may shed new light on the structure of atomic nuclei themselves, and hence a new model of the structure of the atom.
Neutrons n are formed by the combination of protons p and electrons e- at very high temperatures and pressures. So in general terms:
p + e- make n at very high temperatures and pressures
However, it is observed that neutrons decompose into protons and electrons at normal temperature and pressure with the production of electron antineutrinos. The neutrino and presumably its opposite have no mass or charge, although recent measurements suggest that it may in fact have a mass which can be considered as vanishingly small in this context. However, an equally likely explanation seems to be that the neutrino is in fact a form of electromagnetic radiation, probably of extremely high frequency, produced by the acceleration of particles during the rearrangement of the neutron’s structure.
In this case the electron antineutrino would have no bearing on the particles which it left behind. There is some evidence to this effect, since the decomposition is not just a clean break, dependent on the kinetics of particle collisions and activation energies, as is assumed in chemical reactions, but a decay with a half-life of about 10 minutes. This is a time-dependent process, with some particles decaying earlier and some later, which may indicate the gradual loosening of an orbital interaction within each individual particle independently. This is the sort of effect which could be triggered by some stochastic influence external to the nucleus itself. However, the overall result is that:
n decomposes into p + e- at NTP with a half life of about 10 minutes
Taken together these two statements do not ring true; it seems most unlikely that a particle forged at the temperature of the stars will fall apart spontaneously in a glass jar in the laboratory.
Furthermore, neutrons appear to exist indefinitely in perfectly stable nuclei in all the naturally occurring atoms of the Periodic Table. It is only when a neutron is removed from a nucleus that it apparently becomes unstable. This is the reason why neutrons are not considered to be ‘fundamental’ particles. This behaviour is said to be the difference between neutrons which are ‘free’ and neutrons which are located among nucleons in the nucleus. But they are nevertheless considered to be the same neutron particles in both cases.
However, it is possible to draw a different conclusion, namely that the term ‘neutron’ is being used to describe two different entities. Neutrons which are observed to decompose spontaneously are free and separated from nuclear structures in which they interact with other nucleons. It is interaction with other nucleons within the nucleus which gives them indefinite stability in the whole range of elements in which they occur. The interaction has a physical basis i.e. the particles are not simply keeping one another company, as implied by the description of being in the presence of other nucleons. The nature of this interaction must be electric charge i.e. the interaction of negative electron with positive proton.
It seems likely that this is the same interaction which is created at very high temperatures and pressures during the formation of a neutron. The deduction here is that an electron is forced by high temperature and pressure into association with two or more protons, which has been interpreted as a neutron plus a proton. The association with two protons occurs because this configuration is more stable than an electron in close orbit around a single proton, that is in effect the same as the ‘free’ neutron which is known to decay or be unstable even at low temperatures. Thus the additional protons are ‘the other nucleons’ whose presence is observed to be necessary to stabilize the neutron in a nuclear structure. The interaction of these extra protons with the first proton and the electron must be electronic in origin, because there are no known gravitational effects which do this.
The corollary is that atomic electrons come in at least two categories: extranuclear electrons which are shared between atoms in chemical reactions to form molecules; and intranuclear electrons which are in close association with protons in atomic nuclei.
Thus there need be no inconsistency between the equation for formation of neutrons at high temperatures and their stability in atomic nuclei over the whole range of temperatures, provided there is at least one extra proton in both cases with which the stabilizing interaction can occur. The minimum structure which is known to support a neutron is in fact the deuterium nucleus, and so it seems that what is at present known as a neutron can be formed by the close electronic association of a single intranuclear electron with two protons.
However, it cannot be concluded that each intranuclear electron must have two protons to itself; two intranuclear electrons interact with three protons in the nucleus of tritium, though this does not occur naturally, and four intranuclear electrons interact with seven protons in the lithium nucleus, which certainly does. It is obviously more complicated than a simple ratio of 1:2. It seems that some kind of sharing of is going on, which suggests that the electrons are in orbits, and that these orbits encompass more than one proton.
The argument can be simplified as follows by using brackets in algebraic style to elaborate the logic in a simpler form without pre-empting the nature of the interaction which occurs. We have deduced that:
<p +p + e- > becomes <p interacting with p which interacts with e->
When the interaction has occurred, it continues to exist over a wide range of temperatures, and can be written as:
<p> interacting with <p interacting with e- >
This state of interaction is at present interpreted as
<p> co-existing with <n>
In this case the reaction at high temperatures and pressures forms not just a neutron but a neutron interacting physically with a proton. The question then is how does the electron know with which proton it is supposed to interact at any instant?
Spatial separation does not seem to be an option, because the orbits are ‘close’ i.e. much closer than between the nucleus and a conventional extranuclear orbital electron. In addition there is no reason to think that the electron would choose to interact with only one of the protons, having decided that one proton would not be enough. The conclusion is that an intranuclear electron must interact with at least two protons equally during and after formation of the nucleus. Hence the conclusion that the electron must orbit around more than one proton.
The process can be made more obvious if we adopt a simple full stop instead of the word ‘interact’. In this case a proton interacting with a neutron would be p.n and a neutron would be p.e- etc. Thus:
p.n is the same as p.p.e-
p.n is the same as p.e-.p
If this reasoning holds good, it is probably better to abandon the term ‘nucleon’ entirely and refer only to intranuclear electrons and protons.
All nuclei of atoms of the Periodic Table in which neutrons are found also contain protons. Using this notation, the structures of atoms can be built up form hydrogen as follows:
deuterium p.n which is the same as p.p.e-
tritium p.n.n which is the same as p.p.e-.p.e-
helium p.p.n.n which is the same as p.p.p.e-.p.e-
lithium p.p.p.n.n.n.n which is the same as p.p.p.p.e-.p.e-.p.e-.p.e-,
and so on.
For deuterium p.p.e- may also be written as p.e-.p, and the need for symmetry implies the following nuclear structure (Figure 1):
The deuterium nucleus
Figure1. The deuterium nucleus
Keeping all logical options open, the negative charge may remain attached to the mass of the electron i.e. located on the electron particle, or it may be separated in some way from the mass of the electron particle, and distributed as a negative aura or shell around the protons as in Figure 2.
The most likely model is that the negative charge is distributed around the protons by the rapid movement of the negative electron particles, which is in keeping with the observation that extranuclear electrons orbit nuclei at, say, a third of the speed of light. Intranuclear electrons would orbit much faster still, because they are much closer to the centre. This is the most likely model, and it can still be represented as some kind of aura or shell, because we do not know the nature of the orbits (Figure 2).
2. The deuterium nucleus with distributed negative charge
Figure 2. The deuterium nucleus with distributed negative charge
Pursuing the same logic, the tritium nucleus would be p.p.e-.p.e- or p.p.p.e-.e-, which may be represented as:
3. The tritium nucleus with distributed negative charge
Figure 3. The tritium nucleus with distributed negative charge
The helium nucleus would then be 2p.2n, which is p.p.p.e-.p.e- . This might be depicted in two ways, because there is the possibility of three dimensions. Previous analysis proposed that the nucleons should all lie in a plane as in Figure 4, because the contribution of the neutrons was to keep the protons apart (Reference). Any other configuration would allow the protons to come closer together.
However, since it is now proposed that all four nucleons are protons, their most likely configuration is a tetrahedron surrounded with two electrons in close orbit (Figure 5). This is a more compact structure, which would be in keeping with its survival outside the atom as an alpha-particle. It could also form a unit that repeats itself in the nuclei of the elements C-12, O-16, Ne-20, and Mg-24 which contain equal numbers of protons and ‘neutrons’. These also correspond to minima in the curve of packing fraction against mass number and to maxima in the curve of binding energy per nucleon against Mass number, which is an indication of stability. Progress up the Periodic Table is by the addition of more protons and electrons to the nucleus, until the next higher position of stability.
Figure 5. The tetrahedral form
of the helium nucleus with distributed negative charge
Figure 5. The tetrahedral form of the helium nucleus with distributed negative charge
The corollary of this analysis would be that neutrons as distinct entities do not exist inside atomic nuclei. When applied to a nucleus, the term ‘neutron’ in fact describes the interacting structure of intranuclear protons with intranuclear electrons. When a proton is expelled from a nucleus by a missile, it takes an electron with it in close orbit which is in effect an entity that we call a neutron.
The ‘free’ neutron is therefore the only true ‘neutron’ as a distinct species of particle, and it does not last very long. Its half-life can be explained by the unwinding of the close orbit of the electron around the proton stochastically over time, about 10 minutes, into an orbit which is much bigger and more sustainable. In this orbit the electron is much more loosely bound and extranuclear. In other words it becomes a hydrogen atom.
The model of the atomic nucleus which results from this analysis is as follows:
- at the core is a structure of protons which are all repelling each other because of their like charges, so that the structure is trying to explode,
- intranuclear electrons closely orbit the protons, and exert an attractive force between adjacent protons, which pulls them together to form the nucleus,
- the orbits of the intranuclear electrons around the protons are synchronized to keep their like negative charges as far apart as possible at all times, and
This model of the nucleus may explain the emission of X-rays and gamma-rays under some conditions. The new model of the atom, which was described elsewhere (op.cit.) proposes that electromagnetic radiation, for example in the visible region, is emitted as a result of the acceleration of an orbital electron through the medium of space during its transit from one orbit to another. Orbital electrons are the extranuclear electrons which take part in chemical reactions and are considered to occupy shells in the Bohr model of the atom.
The intranuclear electrons in the model of the nucleus which is proposed here are in even faster orbits, this time around the protons in the nucleus, so that when they accelerate on transit from orbit to orbit within the nucleus or on ejection from the nucleus, they will emit electromagnetic radiation of even higher frequency. This will be in the X-ray or gamma-ray region, and could extend to even higher frequencies which current instrumentation may be unable to detect, though there is the possibility of mixing frequencies to form beats which can be measured. These high frequencies relate to changes in the structure of the nucleus, and could give information about its structure.
electrons close association with groups of protons
intra and extra nuclear
clarification by notation
hydrogen to lithium
deuterium nucleus with negative shell
tritium nuclesus with negative shell
former proposal for schematic helium nucleus
tetrahedral helium nucleus with negative shell
neutron is an extranuclear phenomenon
half life is
unwinding of electron orbit
model of atomic nucleus
core structure of protons
bound by synchronised orbits of close electrons
velocities of intra nuclear electrons much greater than extranuclear
X-rays and gamma-rays
Bohr electrons extranuclear
Copyright A. C. Sturt 2007