The definition of Strong Force is the force that binds the quarks into the protons and neutrons, and spills over around each proton and neutron and is an attractive one.

And Binding Energy is the energy that must be put into a nucleus in order to break it apart. or the energy given out when a nucleus forms from nucleons.

If some mass of nucleons converted to energy when nucleus is formed to hold the nucleons. and the Strong Force is the force that binds the quarks into the protons and neutrons.


  • $\begingroup$ Hmm ... "some mass of nucleons converted to energy when nucleus is formed to hold the nucleons" is not well stated, and is causing you to make subsequent errors. The energetic content of the mass deficit does not remain in the nucleus—if it did the system wouldn't be bound. It is often radiated as gammas or in the kinetic energy of products ejected as the nucleus forms. $\endgroup$ – dmckee Oct 2 '17 at 16:03

You are confusing the nuclear force with the strong force in the fundamental forces of elementary particles, one of the four fundamental forces of nature. When the quarks got bound into the protons and neutrons the strong force was not completely neutralized, there are spill over forces which are still attractive

The nuclear forceis a residual effect of the more fundamental strong force, or strong interaction. The strong interaction is the attractive force that binds the elementary particles called quarks together to form the nucleons (protons and neutrons) themselves. This more powerful force is mediated by particles called gluons. Gluons hold quarks together with a force like that of electric charge, but of far greater strength. Quarks, gluons and their dynamics are mostly confined within nucleons, but residual influences extend slightly beyond nucleon boundaries to give rise to the nuclear force.


Sometimes, the nuclear force is called the residual strong force, in contrast to the strong interactions which arise from QCD. This phrasing arose during the 1970s when QCD was being established. Before that time, the strong nuclear force referred to the inter-nucleon potential. After the verification of the quark model, strong interaction has come to mean QCD.

When a nucleus is formed, it is formed because of the attractive spill over forces and some energy is lost( the binding energy) either in photons or in alpha or beta decays before stability is reached .

  • $\begingroup$ As I understand the binding energy is NOT lost but it stored in the nucleus and we can get back when the nucleus fission. So the stored energy I think relate by some way to the storage force. $\endgroup$ – H .victor Oct 2 '17 at 17:31
  • $\begingroup$ No , the energy is lost. It is the same as with the atom , when an electron is captured, a photon or more leave, and the energy is lost. For the electron to be free one has to supply the ionization energy. Fission is a different story, it depends on the internal sub groups of lighter nuclei formed in higher Atomic number nuclei than the Fe Atom. $\endgroup$ – anna v Oct 3 '17 at 20:27

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