Nucleon is the collective term for protons and neutrons. Nucleons are the particles found in the nucleus of atoms. Most notably nucleons are a result of the strong force holding the atoms together—which is stronger than the electric force pushing them apart (see figure 1). Through a beta decay, the weak force can turn one nucleon into another nucleon—either protons to neutrons or neutrons to protons. Nucleons are incredibly small, about 10-15 m, 10,000x smaller than an atom! Please see size of the universe for some online demonstrations to show this scale.
To learn more about neutrons please see hyperphysics.
For Further Reading
- Prof. Matt Strassler [Online]. Available: http://profmattstrassler.com/articles-and-posts/particle-physics-basics/the-structure-of-matter/the-nuclei-of-atoms-at-the-heart-of-matter/what-holds-nuclei-together/ [Accessed on 24 October 2014].