"The reason energy is released in fission is because the daughter nuclei have a greater binding energy per nucleon." I just can't get my head around this for some reason. I am in high school physics.
I understand from the graph of binding energy per nucleon against nucleon number that heavier nuclei are more suited for fission but why? How come the total binding energy of heavier atoms, say uranium-235, is greater than that of smaller nuclei? Doesn't electromagnetic repulsion overcome the strong nuclear force at larger distances so wouldn't that make it easier to separate the nucleons? I know that the binding energy of larger nuclei is greater but, again, why?
What my question is in summary: Why is the energy released in fission due to the daughter nuclei having greater binding energy per nucleon?