Summarizing Binding Energy

Summary

  • The binding energy (BE) of a nucleus is the energy needed to separate it into individual protons and neutrons. In terms of atomic masses,

    \(\text{BE}=\{[\text{Zm}({}^{1}\text{H})+{\text{Nm}}_{n}]-m({}^{A}\text{X})\}{c}^{2},\)

    where \(m({}^{1}\text{H})\) is the mass of a hydrogen atom, \(m({}^{A}\text{X})\) is the atomic mass of the nuclide, and \({m}_{n}\) is the mass of a neutron. Patterns in the binding energy per nucleon, \(\text{BE}/A\), reveal details of the nuclear force. The larger the \(\text{BE}/A\), the more stable the nucleus.

Glossary

binding energy

the energy needed to separate nucleus into individual protons and neutrons

binding energy per nucleon

the binding energy calculated per nucleon; it reveals the details of the nuclear force—larger the \(\text{BE}/A\), the more stable the nucleus

[Attributions and Licenses]


This is a lesson from the tutorial, Radioactivity and Nuclear Physics and you are encouraged to log in or register, so that you can track your progress.

Log In

Share Thoughts