Difference Between Neutron and Neutrino

Neutron vs Neutrino

Though earlier scientists like Dalton thought, atom is the smallest unit, which makes up any substance, later they found there are several other sub atomic particles also. Electrons, protons, and neutrons are the main sub atomic particles in an atom. In the structure of an atom, scientists describe how all these sub particles are arranged within an atom. Later on there were discoveries on some other sub atomic particles like Electrons, protons, and neutrons .


Neutron is a sub atomic particle, which resides in the nucleus of an atom. It is denoted by n. Neutron does not have a charge. Its mass is 1.674927 X 10−27 kg, which is slightly higher than the mass of a proton. A nucleus of an atom also contains protons, which are positively charged. If there are only protons in the nuclei, the repulsion between those will be higher. Therefore, presence of neutrons is important to bind the protons together in the nuclei. Single element can have different number of neutrons in their nuclei. These atoms, which have similar numbers of electrons or protons and different neutrons, are known as isotopes. For example, among the isotopes of hydrogen, protium doesn’t have neutrons, and deuterium has only one neutron. Tritium nucleus contains two neutrons with one proton. Sometimes the number of neutrons can be similar to the proton number, but it not necessarily has to be that way. Neutrons and protons in the nucleus are collectively known as nucleons. By looking at the atomic number and the mass number of an element, we can determine the number of neutrons it has.

Number of neutrons= mass number- atomic number

Rutherford first described the neutron in 1920. Since it has no charge, it was difficult to detect neutrons. Afterwards, James Chadwick discovered the neutron. The experiment, which leads to the discovery, was bombarding beryllium metal with alpha particles. They observed that, after bombarding, a non-ionizing, very penetrating radiation emitted from Beryllium. When this radiation is allowed to hit with a paraffin wax block, it produces protons. Later, they found that, the radiation emitted from the Beryllium is neutrons. Neutrons are emitted by unstable, heavy nuclei, and they play an important role in nuclear reactions. These nuclei become stable by neutron emission, which happens in spontaneous fission. Neutrons are important in energy production through chain reactions.


Neutrino is a sub atomic particle with a small mass (similar to electrons) and no electrical charge. Since there is no electrical charge, neutrinos are not affected by the electrical or magnetic forces. It is shown by the letter ѵ(nu). Three types of neutrinos have been described as electron neutrino, muon neutrino and tau neutrino. Neutrino has a spin of half integer. It is hard to determine neutrinos directly as they don’t carry a charge, and don’t ionize the materials they are passing through. The present detectors can only detect the high energy neutrinos.


What is the difference between Neutron and Neutrino?

• Neutrons have a higher mass than neutrinos.

• Neutrons are closely similar to the protons in their mass. Neutrinos are closely related to the electrons in their mass. However, both these particles don’t have a charge.

• Neutrinos are elementary particles and neutrons are non-elementary particles.