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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How does rest mass become energy?

I know that there's a difference between relativistic and rest mass. Relativistic mass is "acquired" when an object is moving at speeds comparable to the speed of light. Rest mass is the inherent mass ...
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Conversion of mass to energy in chemical/nuclear reactions

Is mass converted into energy in exothermic chemical/nuclear reactions? My (A Level) knowledge of chemistry suggests that this isn't the case. In a simple burning reaction, e.g. $$\mathrm{C + O_2 \...
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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?
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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 ...
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Why are alpha particles such a prominent form of radiation and not other types of nucleon arrangement?

It is said in many textbooks that alpha decay involves emitting alpha particles, which are very stable. Indeed, the binding energy (~28.3 MeV) is higher than for $Z$-neighboring stable isotopes. But ...
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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 ...
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How to explain $E=mc^2$ mass defect in fission/fusion?

What is the nature of nuclear energy? This is closely related to the correct explanation of mass defect. I did some research of that topic and cannot come to a single comprehensive and consistent ...
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Why are the dineutron and diproton unbound?

It is known that there is no diproton and dineutron nuclei. Does this mean that two protons or neutrons are not actually attracted to each other? Even if the attraction was weak, wouldn't it cause ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Mass defect- From where mass is being lost?

As a school student, I have wondered while studying mass defect the following mysterious problem My assumption Just like a car's mass is constituted by each part of it(i.e total mass of car will be ...
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Potential Energy in General Relativity

I often hear about how general relativity is very complicated because of all forms of energy are considered, including gravitation's own gravitational binding energy. I have two questions: In general ...
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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 ...
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What is the binding energy of a neutron star?

Neutrons which constitute a neutron star have a rest mass that is greater when separated from the star because they are bound with a certain potential energy. This potential energy causes the system ...
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Binding energies of $Be$

Just a quick question. How does Beryllium 8 decay into 2 alpha particles? Beryllium 8 has a binding energy of 56.499508 Mev An alpha particle has a binding energy of 28.3 so two of these would have ...
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Why do fusion and fission both release energy?

I only have high school physics knowledge, but here is my understanding: Fusion: 2 atoms come together to form a new atom. This process releases the energy keeping them apart, and is very energetic. ...
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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.
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Why more Fe-56 than Ni-62 as fusion product in heavy stars?

Suppose we create an Fe-56 nucleus and an Ni-62 nucleus, each from individual protons and neutrons. In the case of Ni-62, more mass per nucleon is converted to binding energy. Thus we could argue the ...
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Why is the total energy of an orbiting system negative?

Assume it's an circular orbit. Object A orbits around object B. Take object B as frame of reference. .$E=KE_a + GPE$ .$E=\frac 12m_av_a^2 +(-\frac {GM_bm_A}r)$ .$E=\frac 12m_a(GM_br)+(-\frac {...
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What elements can be created in the fusion process of different types of stars?

As I understand it fusion inside a sun can produce heavier and heavier elements until some sort of "nucleus size limit" is reached. As far as I understand, the limit is thought to be reached with the ...
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Why are synthetic elements unstable?

So far 20 synthetic elements have been synthesized. All are unstable, decaying with half-lives between years and milliseconds. Why is that?
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Why do only heavy radioactive elements perform fission?

Why do only heavy radioactive elements perform fission? I mean what's so special about heavy elements which makes them ideal for nuclear fission? Also why do only neutrons show fission/fusion and why ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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About mass defect

Here's how my book explains mass defect: Particles inside the nucleus interact with each other - they feel attraction. The potential energy $U$ of such attraction is negative, because in absence of ...
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Where does the energy from a nuclear bomb come from?

I'll break this down to two related questions: With a fission bomb, Uranium or Plutonium atoms are split by a high energy neutron, thus releasing energy (and more neutrons). Where does the energy ...
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If we assume that protons don't decay, then will all matter ultimately decay into Iron-56 or into nickel-62?

Wikipedia says that all matter should decay into iron-56. But it also says Nickel-62 is the most stable nucleus. So could this mean that in the far future, everything could (through quantum tunneling)...
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Nuclear Binding energy

The nuclear binding energy, is the energy that is needed to seperate the nucleons in a nucleus. And binding energy is also defined as the energy given out when a nucleus forms from nucleons. Also ...
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The “binding energy” of bonded particles adds mass?

This is a follow-up my previous question. Several of the answers indicated that the mass of a particle (atom, proton, etc.) increase with the "binding energy" of it's component particles - the energy ...
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1answer
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Are there bound states from light-light or gravity-gravity scattering in general relativity?

Is the formation of bound states from light-light scattering or from the scattering of gravitational waves possible according to general relativity? If it's possible, are there papers out there about ...
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3answers
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In physics sometimes we find energy that is negative. What does the negative sign indicate?

Sometimes we see energy that is negative, for example, the energy of an electron in orbit. We know energy is something that can do something. In this view does negative energy mean something opposite ...
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2answers
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What exactly is binding energy?

I've been reading on radioactivity but along the way I got confused, if binding energy is the amount of energy used in holding the nucleus together then why is binding energy also the amount of energy ...
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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 ...
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Peaks in binding energy per nucleon

Looking at the the binding energy per nucleon chart: I observe peaks for N=4,8,12,16,20,24 while I expected to observe peaks for 2, 8, 20, 28, 50, 82, and 126 because I have heard that in ...
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Protons and Neutrons Overshoot Actual Mass? [duplicate]

When I add up the mass of 6 protons and 6 neutrons in amu, I get a mass that is greater than the mass of carbon. I thought that it should be the other way around, because I have not including binding ...
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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 ...
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Do chemical bonds have mass?

When an exothermic reaction occurs, the energy in the chemical bonds of the reactants is partially transferred to the chemical bonds of the products. The remaining energy is released as heat. For ...
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Why is iron the peak of the binding energy curve?

If Nickel-62 and Iron-58 have more binding energy per nucleon than Iron-56 does, then why is iron-56 shown as the peak of the binding energy curve? Also, does adding neutrons always make the atom more ...
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What is the difference between a neutron and hydrogen?

Differences? They are both an electron and a proton, since the neutron decays to a proton and an electron, what's the difference between a neutron and proton + electron? so is it just a higher binding ...
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1answer
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Obtaining isotope stability

For a given isotope, one can obtain the binding energy using the semi-empirical mass formula. For example, has a binding energy of 1782.8 MeV. From this information, how can the likelihood of the ...
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Why do almost all nuclear reactions release energy?

I'm just wondering why almost all nuclear reactions release energy, in a typical way, the mass defect is transformed into energy ? Is there a nuclear reaction that gains mass (resp. energy)? or most ...
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Where does energy come from in a nuclear fission if nucleon count doesn't change?

In a nuclear fission the total number of protons and neutrons are conserved. Then the mass converted to energy $E=mc^2$. From where this mass come from? Does that mean that all protons and neutrons ...
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Why is binding energy $\Delta mc^2$?

As we know the mass-energy equivalence relation $E=mc^2$ originally came from special relativity. And the binding energy is $\Delta mc^2$. How do we know that the extra mass coming from theoretical ...
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1answer
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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. ...
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Tritium decay is spontaneous even if the binding energy of tritium is higher than the binding energy of 3He. Why?

Given this nuclear reaction: $^3_1\mathrm H\to {}^3_2\mathrm{He}+e^-+\bar{\nu}$ and knowing the binding energies: $BE(^3_1\mathrm H)=8.48 \,\mathrm{MeV}$ $BE(^3_2\mathrm{He})=7.72 \,\mathrm{MeV}$ ...
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3answers
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Are free electrons truly free?

As this diagram shows, energy levels get closer together as they get higher. Is a free electron then truly free? Or is it in such a high (bound) state of energy that the transitions become nearly (but ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
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Correct formula for Mass Defect / Binding Energy? [closed]

I'm a web developer and I have to change an online course. The course teaches Advanced Nuclear Theory. In the 'Mass Defect and Binding Energy' chapter, it has this formula: $$\Delta M = Z(m_p) + N(...
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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exciton binding energy and orbital binding energy

What is the difference between an exciton binding energy and orbital binding energy? I can see no difference between them since when an exciton is created, the electron is excited to the next (or one ...