# Photons and neutrons

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#### kg

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I was watching Physics for future presidents on youtube.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Professor&nbsp;Muller was talking about how movements of charged particles create electromagnetic waves (light).&nbsp;&nbsp;I have to of course throw a neutron star in here so... how does light effect uncharged particles such as neutrons?&nbsp; Would a object such a neutron star produce light if hot enough (assuming there were only neutrons at its surface instead of iron or whatever you might find on the surface of a neutron star)?

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#### derekmcd

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>I was watching Physics for future presidents on youtube.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Professor&nbsp;Muller was talking about how movements of charged particles create electromagnetic waves (light).&nbsp;&nbsp;I have to of course throw a neutron star in here so... how does light effect uncharged particles such as neutrons?&nbsp; Would a object such a neutron star produce light if hot enough (assuming there were only neutrons at its surface instead of iron or whatever you might find on the surface of a neutron star)? <br /> Posted by kg</DIV></p><p>Movement of charged particles create electromagnetic <strong><em>fields</em></strong>.&nbsp; The force that this field applies to charge particle is the electromagnetic force (1 of 4 fundamental forces).&nbsp; A photon is the force carrying particle between the 2 objects.</p><p>An Electromagnetic wave is the radiation (which includes visisble light) produced by various means.</p><p>Neutron may not have an electric charge, but AFAIK, they can still be affected by an electromagnetic field because they are magnetic due to the upquark within it having a positive charge.&nbsp; The two down quarks give a net neutral charge, but there's still a charged particle in there.</p><p>Not quite sure how to answer the neutron star question simply because they aren't pure neutrons.&nbsp; Neutron stars are luminous, but the magnitude is such due to their small size.&nbsp; They are incredibly hot producing black body radiation, but quite small and hard to detect.</p><p>Not sure if I really answered your question.&nbsp; Electromagnetism and Quantum Electrodynamics are topics that quickly spiral out of my scope of understanding.</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div> </div><br /><div><span style="color:#0000ff" class="Apple-style-span">"If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing." - Homer Simpson</span></div> </div>

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#### kg

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Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Movement of charged particles create electromagnetic fields.&nbsp; The force that this field applies to charge particle is the electromagnetic force (1 of 4 fundamental forces).&nbsp; A photon is the force carrying particle between the 2 objects.An Electromagnetic wave is the radiation (which includes visisble light) produced by various means.Neutron may not have an electric charge, but AFAIK, they can still be affected by an electromagnetic field because they are magnetic due to the upquark within it having a positive charge.&nbsp; The two down quarks give a net neutral charge, but there's still a charged particle in there.Not quite sure how to answer the neutron star question simply because they aren't pure neutrons.&nbsp; Neutron stars are luminous, but the magnitude is such due to their small size.&nbsp; They are incredibly hot producing black body radiation, but quite small and hard to detect.Not sure if I really answered your question.&nbsp; Electromagnetism and Quantum Electrodynamics are topics that quickly spiral out of my scope of understanding. <br />Posted by derekmcd</DIV><br /><br />I only brought up the neutron star thing as a way to have a bunch of neutrons in one spot.&nbsp;&nbsp;How would pure neutrons show up on a&nbsp;spectrometer?&nbsp;

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#### DrRocket

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>I only brought up the neutron star thing as a way to have a bunch of neutrons in one spot.&nbsp;&nbsp;How would pure neutrons show up on a&nbsp;spectrometer?&nbsp; <br />Posted by kg</DIV></p><p>Do you mean an ordinary spectrometer ?&nbsp; One designed to work with light (i.e. photons) ?<br /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>

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#### kg

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Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Do you mean an ordinary spectrometer ?&nbsp; One designed to work with light (i.e. photons) ? <br />Posted by DrRocket</DIV><br /><br />Yikes!&nbsp; There is more than one kind of spectrometer?&nbsp; Well yes... emission&nbsp;and absorption lines.&nbsp; It's just that I had&nbsp;thought&nbsp;photons interacted more with electrons and was just wondering how they would affect a neutron.&nbsp;

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#### derekmcd

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>I only brought up the neutron star thing as a way to have a bunch of neutrons in one spot.&nbsp;&nbsp;How would pure neutrons show up on a&nbsp;spectrometer?&nbsp; <br /> Posted by kg</DIV></p><p>"Pure" neutron might not be the best description.&nbsp; They are either bound in a nucleus or are considered 'free'.&nbsp; Essentially, a neutron star is a giant nucleus in which the neutrons are stable.&nbsp; Technically, in a neutron star, the neutrons are in a degenerate state of matter.</p><p>Free neutrons decay in a about 10-15 minutes into a proton, electron and an anti-neutrino.</p><p>Your spectrometer question is a bit odd.&nbsp; Spectrometer can detect be specified to detect all different levels of radiation AFAIK.</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div> </div><br /><div><span style="color:#0000ff" class="Apple-style-span">"If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing." - Homer Simpson</span></div> </div>

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#### DrRocket

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Yikes!&nbsp; There is more than one kind of spectrometer?&nbsp; Well yes... emission&nbsp;and absorption lines.&nbsp; It's just that I had&nbsp;thought&nbsp;photons interacted more with electrons and was just wondering how they would affect a neutron.&nbsp; <br />Posted by kg</DIV></p><p>Sure there are mass spectrometers and ordinary light spectrometers. Chemists also use devices typically call chromatographs that produce a "spectrum" of molecular weight distribution.</p><p>But the reason that I was asking was that your question seemed to be addressing sending a neutron through a spectrometer, and I did understand what you had in mind.</p><p>It appears that your question is really how a neutron might interact with a photon, given that a neutron is charge neutral and a photon is a manifestation of the electromagnetic force which acts on charged particles.&nbsp; The short answer is that I don't know.&nbsp; A somewhat longer answer is that the neutron, although it carries no charge, has a magnetic moment http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutron_magnetic_moment&nbsp;<br />http://www.physik.uni-kiel.de/kfn/Archiv/DPG-Zabel.pdf&nbsp;and can interact with the electromagnetic field via tha moment.&nbsp; I do not know the details.</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>

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#### derekmcd

##### Guest
<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Sure there are mass spectrometers and ordinary light spectrometers. Chemists also use devices typically call chromatographs that produce a "spectrum" of molecular weight distribution.But the reason that I was asking was that your question seemed to be addressing sending a neutron through a spectrometer, and I did understand what you had in mind.It appears that your question is really how a neutron might interact with a photon, given that a neutron is charge neutral and a photon is a manifestation of the electromagnetic force which acts on charged particles.&nbsp; The short answer is that I don't know.&nbsp; A somewhat longer answer is that the neutron, although it carries no charge, has a magnetic moment http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutron_magnetic_momenthttp://www.physik.uni-kiel.de/kfn/Archiv/DPG-Zabel.pdfand can interact with the electromagnetic field via tha moment.&nbsp; I do not know the details. <br /> Posted by DrRocket</DIV></p><p>I think it has to do with the fact that the quarks within the neuton carry a charge.</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div> </div><br /><div><span style="color:#0000ff" class="Apple-style-span">"If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing." - Homer Simpson</span></div> </div>

K

#### kg

##### Guest
Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Sure there are mass spectrometers and ordinary light spectrometers. Chemists also use devices typically call chromatographs that produce a "spectrum" of molecular weight distribution.But the reason that I was asking was that your question seemed to be addressing sending a neutron through a spectrometer, and I did understand what you had in mind.It appears that your question is really how a neutron might interact with a photon, given that a neutron is charge neutral and a photon is a manifestation of the electromagnetic force which acts on charged particles.&nbsp; The short answer is that I don't know.&nbsp; A somewhat longer answer is that the neutron, although it carries no charge, has a magnetic moment http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutron_magnetic_momenthttp://www.physik.uni-kiel.de/kfn/Archiv/DPG-Zabel.pdfand can interact with the electromagnetic field via tha moment.&nbsp; I do not know the details. <br />Posted by DrRocket</DIV><br /><br />Thank you for once again refrasing my original question.&nbsp; I didn't have in mind sending a neutron through the spectrometer but instead&nbsp;examining&nbsp;light reflected off&nbsp;or passing through a&nbsp;sample of neutrons (sorry for the confusion).&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;

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