Re: Neutron decay
I am sure I can be wrong. However, these ideas are not from me, they are a rather self-consistent model of how it works created by thousands of people each more brainy than myself. I can't compete with that ...
Heisenberg believed that the exchange particle involved was an electron (he did not have many particles from which to choose). This electron had to have some rather odd characteristics, however, such as no spin and no magnetic moment, and this made Heisenberg's theory ultimately unacceptable.
The binding is done via meson exchange, right? I remember that Yukawa came up with that idea. Note that if the neutron *could* decay in a stable nucleus, you *would* see it as there is always a diagram in which it decays immediately before any exchange happens (and it is bound to be advertised to the rest of the universe as such, i.e. "observed"). So energy constraints, like program contracts and assertions, are strong.
Anyway, today we have Lattice Quantum Chromodynamics, and the first Google result that comes up:
Nuclei from Lattice QCD
1000 PetaFLOPS * Year for an Alpha Particle Approximation? FUND IT!