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Question:
How can an electron be ejected from a nucleus during a Beta Wave decay? Apparently a neutron decays into a protron, electron ( which is ejected) and a neutrino. Electrons are leptons and neutrons are made of quarks...how can an electron split off another basic particle?



Replies:
The electron and neutrino are a lepton, anti-lepton pair. This pair is emitted by a down-quark as it transforms itself into an up-quark. (Actually, the down-quark emits a W-particle which "decays" into the lepton, anti-lepton pair, but that is not essential to the fact that lepton number is conserved).



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