Does a proton exist?

topsquark

Forum Staff
Apr 2008
3,055
651
On the dance floor, baby!
A single proton is made up of three quarks, two ups and a down, along with any gluon exchanges going on in the interior.

On a more advanced level a more complicated nucleus, say, oxygen with 8 protons and 8 neutrons, is a much busier place with protons and neutrons temporarily being "created and destroyed" inside the nucleus as the quarks move around. (The so-called valence nucleons, near the "surface" of the nucleus, are basically stable particles. Closer to the interior they become a number of loosely bound interacting quarks.)

-Dan
 
Apr 2018
92
0
How are protons that are used in the accelerator formed?
 

topsquark

Forum Staff
Apr 2008
3,055
651
On the dance floor, baby!
How are protons that are used in the accelerator formed?
I believe (not certain) that they come from bombarding a metal by gamma rays. Otherwise you could easily obtain them from stripping the electron off a hydrogen atom.

-Dan