Generally, baryons are subatomic particles containing three quarks, thus interacting via the strong nuclear force. Protons and neutrons each contain three quarks; they belong to the family of particles called the baryons.
In general, particles that participate in strong interactions are called hadrons: protons and neutrons are hadrons. The hadrons are further sub-divided into baryons and mesons, according to the number of quarks they contain. Protons and neutrons each contain three quarks; they belong to the family of particles called the baryons. Other baryons are the lambda, sigma, xi, and omega particles. On the other hand mesons, and bosons are composed of two quarks: a quark and an antiquark.
Besides charge and spin (1/2 for the baryons), two other quantum numbers are assigned to these particles: baryon number (B) and strangeness (S). Baryons have a baryon number, B, of 1, while their antiparticles, called antibaryons, have a baryon number of −1. A nucleus of deuterium (deuteron), for example, contains one proton and one neutron (each with a baryon number of 1) and has a baryon number of 2.
Since baryons make up most of the mass of ordinary atoms, everyday matter is often referred to as baryonic matter.
The conservation of baryon number is an important rule for interactions and decays of baryons. No known interactions violate conservation of baryon number.[/lgc_column]
A neutron is one of the subatomic particles that make up matter. In the universe, neutrons are abundant, making up more than half of all visible matter. It has no electric charge and a rest mass equal to 1.67493 × 10−27 kg — marginally greater than that of the proton but nearly 1839 times greater than that of the electron. The neutron has a mean square radius of about 0.8×10−15 m or 0.8 fm, and it is a spin ½ fermion.
Neutrons and protons are classified as hadrons, subatomic particles subject to the strong force, and baryons since they are composed ofthree quarks. The neutron is a composite particle made of two down quarks with charge −⅓ e and one up quark with charge +⅔ e. Since the neutron hasno net electric charge, it is not affected by electric forces, but the neutron does have a slight distribution of electric charge within it. This results in the non-zero magnetic moment (dipole moment) of the neutron. Therefore the neutron also interacts via electromagnetic interaction but is much weaker than the proton.
The mass of the neutron is 939.565 MeV/c2, whereas the mass of the three quarks is only about 12 MeV/c2 (only about 1% of the mass-energy of the neutron). Like the proton, most of mass (energy) of the neutron is in the form of the strong nuclear force energy (gluons). The quarks of the neutron are held together by gluons, the exchange particles for the strong nuclear force. Gluons carry the color charge of the strong nuclear force.
Nuclear and Reactor Physics:
J. R. Lamarsh, Introduction to Nuclear Reactor Theory, 2nd ed., Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA (1983).
J. R. Lamarsh, A. J. Baratta, Introduction to Nuclear Engineering, 3d ed., Prentice-Hall, 2001, ISBN: 0-201-82498-1.
W. M. Stacey, Nuclear Reactor Physics, John Wiley & Sons, 2001, ISBN: 0- 471-39127-1.