Inverse beta decay

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Inverse beta decay process involving a muon antineutrino.

Inverse beta decay is a somewhat vague term referring to one of several processes related to beta decay.

Inverse beta decay originally referred to the process \bar{\nu}_e + p \to e^+ + n ,

(electron antineutrino scattering off a proton into a positron and a neutron) in which the existence of the antineutrino was decisively verified in the Cowan–Reines neutrino experiment. Understanding this process is important to our understanding of the mechanism of a supernova explosion.

Inverse beta decay may also sometimes refer to the process e^- + p \to \nu_e + n normally called electron capture.