San José State University
Thayer Watkins
Silicon Valley
& Tornado Alley

The Distribution of the Net
Nucleonic Charges of Nuclides

There are about three thousand nuclides sufficiently stable enough to have their masses measured and their binding energies computed. The average numbers of the protons and neutrons in these nuclides are 56.0 and 78.2, respectively. The ratios of these two values are 0.716 and 1.396. If the nucleonic charge of a proton is taken as 1 and that of the neutron is denoted as q then the ratio of protons to neutrons that would achieve a net nucleonic charge of zero is q. There is no known reason that stable nuclides should on averae have a net nucleonic charge of zero but it is notable that elsewhere the best estimate of q has been found to be 2/3 and 0.716 is reasonably close to 0.667. Of course 0.716 is also reasonably close to 3/4.

If the ratio of the number of protons to the number of neutrons in each nuclide is computed and the average determined for all those nuclides excepting the hydrogen nucleus its value is 0.759.

The net nucleonic charge of each nuclide was computed, P−qN, for q=2/3. The average net charge is 3.87. This is in contrast to an average value of (P−N) of −22.19. The frequency distribution is shown below.

The peak frequency is for the 1 to 2 range.

When a value of q=3/4 is used to compute the net nucleonic charge the frequency distribution is as shown below.


The average value is −2.64. The shape of this distribution is more regular than the one for q=2/3.

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