I have following questions and arguments.

  1. why do only gluons get converted into energy in an uranium atom undergoing fission?

  2. why don't all the gluons get converted into energy?

  3. which conditions lead to such process?

  • $\begingroup$ Partially yes...because they are converted into photons but most of them are converted into heat energy....in matter-antimatter annihilation mass is efficiently converted into photons ... $\endgroup$ – sanyam sharma Apr 3 '16 at 15:18
  • $\begingroup$ Probably yes...I am new to the site so I posted everything my mind wanted to know...apologies. $\endgroup$ – sanyam sharma Apr 3 '16 at 15:22
  • $\begingroup$ By energy I meant any of its form except mass $\endgroup$ – sanyam sharma Apr 3 '16 at 15:23
  • $\begingroup$ Talking about gluons to understand nuclear physics is a little bot off-topic in my opinion. You should have a look at the mass formula which is (semi-)empirical. $\endgroup$ – Antoine Apr 3 '16 at 15:43
  • $\begingroup$ That helped a lot but I still don't get it why and how binding energy is released $\endgroup$ – sanyam sharma Apr 3 '16 at 15:52

In general an atom undergoing fission breaks up into other, smaller nuclei and stable particles: photons (x rays and gamma rays), electrons(beta decays) , alpha particles an other lower mass nuclei.

Gluons are never free, because of QCD, and always inside a proton or a neutron. Their spill over attractive force is due to virtual gluons which will never materialize except as a transfer of an energy momentum vector.

The excess energy from the mass energy fourvector balance appears as kinetic energy of the products, which finally becomes thermal energy after secondary interactions.


Here we see the neutron inducing a chain decay in uranium238. No gluons.

  • $\begingroup$ The binding energy is released because the slow neutron joining with the u238 make an unstable nucleus u239 which cascades down to lower energy states by releasing beta( electrons) all those betas and the gamma take the kinetic energy of the neutron and the binding energy released when decaying to a lower energy state nucleus. $\endgroup$ – anna v Apr 3 '16 at 17:46

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