# Questions tagged [binding-energy]

Please use binding energy in the context of the atomic scale and/or atomic systems. This can be used in nuclear reactions.

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### Energy from 1 gram of fuel in a nuclear power plant?

It might go without saying, but I am asking about a fission reactor. I assume the fuel still has mass after it is used. If I am right about that, I can't use $E=m*c^2$ to answer my question. Hence my ...
2answers
829 views

### Semi-empirical mass formula [closed]

The mass formula is given by $M(Z,A) = ZM_{p}+(A-Z)M_{n}-a_{1}A+a_{2}A^\frac{2}{3}+a_{3}\frac{Z(Z-1)}{A^\frac{1}{3}}+a_{4}\frac{(Z-A/2)^2}{A}+a_{5}A^\frac{-1}{2}$ So I am just wondering here what ...
2answers
2k views

### If Hydrogen's nucleus lacks a neutron, then what is keeping the nucleus stable and the proton inside it?

I have two questions : In a simple hydrogen atom $(^1_1H)$, there is no neutron. So, if there is no nuclear force to hold the nucleus together then what is the thing that is holding the atom together?...
1answer
839 views

### Energy released in nuclear fission

In induced fission of U-235, neutrons are bombarded at the U-235, producing U-236. This U-236 then undergoes fission: U-235 + n --> U-236 --> Ba-141 + Kr-92 + 3n As far as I understand, the energy ...
3answers
7k views

### Why do nuclei decay so fast and slow?

Why do nuclei like Oganesson (also known as Ununoctium, this is the 118th element on the periodic table) decay in about 5 milliseconds? This is weird that they decay. In comparison, why do elements ...
1answer
564 views

### What holds metal atoms together? And what accounts for the strength of metallic bonds?

From the wikipedia page for metallic bonding, I've noticed that there seem to be a few things at play: (1) the delocalization of electrons, and (2) the fact that there are a far larger number of ...
1answer
125 views

### How do we know which lighter elements fuse to form heavier elements?

Formation of lighter elements is fairly straightforward: He + He + He = C-12. However for each heavier element (heavier than Fe in particular), is there exactly one combination of (two lighter) ...
3answers
3k views

### How does the semi-empirical mass formula prove or detract from the existence of the “valley of stability”?

I came across this passage in my lecture notes. The semi-empirical mass formula (SEMF) is a better estimator of atomic mass than the standard mass formula, which neglects spatial arrangement of ...
1answer
438 views

### How covalent bonding lower the energy of potential energy? [duplicate]

Considering the potential energy of interacting particles, how does covalent bonding lower the energy of the system?
1answer
179 views

### Binding energy per nucleon error

I am given that the mass deficit of 114-Cd is -90.01 MeV, and asked to calculate the binding energy, which should simply be 90.01 MeV then, due to the use of natural units (i.e. where $c=1$). I'm then ...
2answers
2k views

### In what way is mass converted into energy in nuclear reaction?

My book says: In nuclear reactions, the number of protons and the number of neutrons are the same on the two sides of equation What I have read: The total binding energy of nuclei on the left ...
3answers
16k views

### When a nucleus is split, what form of energy is released?

When an nucleus is split, what form of energy is released? All of the websites I have looked at say there is a lot of energy released when an atom is split, but it never says what form of energy it is ...
1answer
198 views

### Sum of nucleus less than sum of neutrons & protons? [duplicate]

The mass of a nucleus is less than the sum total of the individual masses of the protons and neutrons which form it. How this is possible?
3answers
13k views

### Why can't Iron fusion occur in stars?

It is said that iron fusion is endothermic and star can't sustain this kind of fusion (not until it goes supernova). However star is constantly releasing energy from fusion of elements like Hydrogen ...
3answers
667 views

### Why don't neutrons in a nucleus decay? [duplicate]

When I asked here why neutrons in nucleus (with protons) don't decay I was told that it would require energy for the neutron to decay, it wouldn't give energy. And since that wasn't really what I ...
0answers
49 views

### What is Binding energy/the energy required to for a nucleus to form a result of?

Is it simply the work required to overcome the electrostatic repulsion of protons, or rather the coloumb barrier potential between nuclei? If so where does the effective of tunneling come in, as ...
1answer
2k views

### Why is Helium an anomaly on the binding energy curve?

So I'm failing to understand why helium is anomalous on the binding energy curve. I know it includes concepts such as pairing, shell correction, and the liquid drop model. However, these were simply ...
3answers
5k views

### Gravitational Potential of a Sphere vs Gravitational Binding Energy of a Sphere

My question is about two equations regarding uniform spheres that I've run into: $\quad V=\frac{GM}{r},$ and $\quad U = \frac{3}{5}\frac{GM^2}{r}.$ 1) On one hand, $V$ is unknown to me, and is ...
1answer
204 views

### Why must nuclei contain both protons and neutrons? [duplicate]

In most atomic nuclei there are both protons and neutrons. Having a poor understanding of the strong interaction, it puzzles me why a nucleus must consist of both. Namely, why can there not be ...
0answers
50 views

### Why is there a mass defect in nuclear fusion? [duplicate]

So I'm currently trying to wrap my head around nuclear fusion, but there is something that keeps bugging me: I've read in many places that when two hydrogen atoms combine, the resulting helium atom ...
1answer
982 views

### Binding energy and mass

I’ve been told that a greater binding energy means the nucleus is more tightly bound, and therefore that decreases the mass of the nucleus with respect to its nucleons when separated. But why does a ...
1answer
104 views

### Error in calculating binding energy of Beryllium 8 [closed]

I don't know where I am going wrong with regards to calculating the binding energy of $^8$Be. This is what I am doing: I look up online and find that the mass excess of $^8$Be is $5305 \mu$u. Thus, ...
0answers
57 views

### Neutron star material [duplicate]

A neutron star is created by the gravitational collapse of a massive star. The atoms are pushed into each other, the electrons into the protons etc. and it is held there under the existing ...
1answer
183 views

### How is binding energy actually measured?

How, exactly does one measure binding energy? Or, assuming binding energy is calculated from mass defect and $E = mc^{2}$, then, how is mass defect measured? I know one can be calculated from the ...
1answer
2k views

### Would small quantities of neutronium be stable?

Considering the fact that naturally occurring neutronium, or neutron degenerate matter is created by stars more massive than the sun, it is apparent that electron-degenerate pressure is difficult to ...
1answer
51 views

### Whether mass defect can be restored its original level?

If two stick two magnets the mass will be less than sum of the individual magnets. They lose certain mass while they stick together. Probably, they release some energy. My question is: when the ...
3answers
14k views

### Protons' repulsion within a nucleus

Do the protons inside the nucleus repel each other by the electrostatic force? If they do, why doesn't the repulsion drive the protons apart so that the nuclei get disintegrated?
2answers
5k views

### What makes a nucleus unstable?

My question is simply that - what makes a nucleus unstable? What exactly causes a nucleus to start breaking apart in the first place? Is it the Coulomb force between the neighboring protons? I'm just ...
1answer
1k views

### Why don't the nucleus break apart? [duplicate]

The nucleus of an atom is made up of protons and neutrons. So if there are many protons inside nucleus even though there are neutrons why don't this protons may repel away breaking nucleus apart? The ...
2answers
510 views

### Basics questions about the strong force

I have what is probably a bitter misconception about the strong force which I would like to clarify. Here's my (probably flawed) reasoning. The strong forces holds protons and neutrons together at ...
2answers
436 views

### What is an element's “weight” when talking about “elements heavier than iron” being formed in supernovae

I always hear that elements heavier than iron are formed in supernovae. But, what is taken as an element's weight? I had always believed that this meant any elements with an atomic number greater than ...
2answers
872 views

### What is the energy transformation in the fission reaction?

According to one of my physics textbooks, when U-235 absorbs a neutron it becomes unstable and soon fissions into two separate atoms. The forces driving these two atoms apart are electrostatic forces ...
8answers
8k views

### Is (rest) mass quantized?

I learned today in class that photons and light are quantized. I also remember that electric charge is quantized as well. I was thinking about these implications, and I was wondering if (rest) mass ...
1answer
243 views

### What does energy represent in $E= mc^2$?

Due to energy-mass equivalence, any object with mass can be said to have a corresponding amount of energy. So in a 5kg object there are 450,000,000,000 joules. A joule as I understand it is the ...
0answers
57 views

### I want to know about the quantization of mass [duplicate]

Is mass quantized? If yes, then why do we see all amounts of mass? Well , can it be said quantized just for smaller masses?
1answer
12k views

### What is so special about iron?

I remember reading something about how iron was a highly stable element. Ever since then, I have looked at iron fry pans with new-found respect. However, in a recent discussion I was unable to ...
0answers
92 views

### Nuclear Fission and Fusion [duplicate]

I've read several other answers on here, but I still don't understand. Why do both fission and fusion release energy? I know the masses drop, but then why do the masses drop on both? Fusion is taking ...
3answers
19k views

### Why is the nucleus of an Iron atom so stable?

Lighter nuclei liberate energy when undergoing fusion, heavier nuclei when undergoing fission. What is it about the nucleus of an Iron atom that makes it so stable? Alternatively: Iron has the ...
3answers
13k views

### Why only light nuclei are able to undergo nuclear fusion not heavy nuclei?

Is it because of the binding energy or the binding energy per nuclei . I am having trouble with this whole binding energy and nuclear fusion concept.
0answers
366 views

### Binding energy of a galaxy?

I'm a novice in physics and new to the forms, so please forgive me if this is a dumb question or if this is in the wrong section to be posted, but how would one find the gravitational binding energy ...
0answers
79 views

### Why do the masses of decay products affect the branching ratio?

Consider a particle $P$ of mass $100m$ (where $m$ is some unit). It can decay into either of two particle-antiparticle pairs: $P\to P_1\bar{P}_1$ with branching ratio $BR_1$, where $P_1$ has mass \$...
1answer
1k views

### Does the rest mass energy include the potential energy of the particle?

The potential energy (as far as I have studied - that is, mainly classical physics) depends on the reference level, since its absolute value cannot be calculated. It can therefore be negative as well. ...
3answers
702 views

### Binding Energy of an atom

I would like to know if there is any difference between the binding energy of a nucleus and the binding energy of an atom and what exactly do we mean when we say Binding energy per nucleon.. Edit to ...
1answer
205 views

### If the energy of an ant is smaller than an elephant, does that mean the ant is more stable than the elephant?

I know that when a system is in its lowest level of energy, it is most stable. However, what if system 1 has lower energy than system 2, does it keep meaning so? Or do we need to examine their binding ...
0answers
49 views

### How does a Collider work? [closed]

How does a collider work, explained using various Physics theories (or if there is a main one) . How does the acceleration play a part in the individual sub-atomic kinetic levels. What happens when ...
2answers
10k views

### Why is Iron the most stable element? [duplicate]

Iron has the highest binding energy per nucleon in the entirety of the known elements. But why Iron specifically? What makes it have the highest binding energy per nucleon?
2answers
7k views

### binding energy of a nucleus is positive?

I have found from this link http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/nucene/nucbin.html that: Nuclei are made up of protons and neutron, but the mass of a nucleus is always less than the sum of the ...
1answer
827 views

### Why do products of nuclear decay have a lower mass than the original nucleus, when the sum of the mass of its nucleons is larger? [duplicate]

I've just started covering the topic of binding energy in Year 13 at school (final year before University). The definition we've been given of binding energy is that it is the work done when ...
1answer
55 views

### How can one interaction influence the way another interaction generates mass?

This question arose as a follow-up of this one and applies generally to all interactions and all ways to generate mass. To make it clear, I take here the example of the neutron, whose mass is in ...
1answer
113 views

### How is electromagnetic binding energy introduced in the stress-energy tensor

Take the hydrogen atom. It is easy to imagine that the gravitational pull it creates is smaller than the sum of those of the proton plus the electron, because a photon of 13.6 eV was created when the ...