Binding energy of a nucleus

  • Thread starter jaredogden
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I was reading over some nuclear physics and I came across the binding energy of a nucleus. The equation is Eb=[ZM(H)+Nmn-M(AZX)]x931.494 MeV/u

I remember seeing this and using this in class when I took it over a year ago but I can't remember exactly how to use it and I see no examples in the book. If anyone can help explain this that would be awesome. Thanks
 

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Bill_K
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This is really just a definition, the observed mass of a nucleus minus the separate masses of all its protons and neutrons. We don't use it directly for anything, but it tells us something about nuclear forces. Often you'll see a graph of Eb per nucleon. The curve is relatively flat at 8 MeV per nucleon, and this suggests that the nuclear forces 'saturate', acting only between a nucleon and its nearest neighbors. (If each nucleon attracted all the others the binding energy would grow proportionally to N2.)
 
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Nuclei are made up of protons and neutron, but the mass of a nucleus is always less than the sum of the individual masses of the protons and neutrons which constitute it. The difference is a measure of the nuclear binding energy which holds the nucleus together. This binding energy can be calculated from the Einstein relationship:
 

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