Are protons stable?

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Are protons stable?
« on: 04/12/2015 05:12:18 »
Can we prove the stability or otherwise of a proton??
« Last Edit: 04/12/2015 07:21:52 by chris »


Offline evan_au

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Re: Are protons stable?
« Reply #1 on: 04/12/2015 10:59:28 »
The mainstream Standard Model assumes that protons are stable.
Current experiments put a lower limit on the lifetime of a proton at > 1034 years.
This is very long compared to the current age of the universe at 1010 years.

You can never experimentally "prove a negative", in that if protons are stable, you won't be able to run an experiment long enough to prove it.

However, if protons are unstable (and some theories suggest they must be unstable), this might be proven if you run a big enough experiment for long enough.