Astrophysics (Index)About


(an electron and proton combining to form a neutron)

Neutronization (aka electron capture or inverse beta decay) is the formation of a neutron through the combination of a proton (i.e., a hydrogen nucleus) and an electron. This can happen in the high heat and/or density of supernovae, and the results are thought to exist in some layers of neutron stars. At such high densities, the most stable isotopes are not the same as for "normal" densities: the most stable nucleus configurations have a higher proportion of neutrons.

The term neutronization is also used to refer to the process of this happening to some matter, e.g., saying "the iron undergoes some neutronization".

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