OK, I think I have discovered some errors in my thinking about this whole binding energy/release of energy thing. In my other threads, however, you guys often left the subject of my question to explain the next concept (quarks, stellar formations, Q-factors, etc.) The problem was I never understood what the answer to my question was. I can get very "wordy" at times, so this time I will ask VERY DIRECT questions, so please try to give VERY DIRECT answers--yes or no answers if possible. I will never get to the more advanced concepts if I don't get this release of energy thing down. I think where I have been confused is by WHAT ENERGY does the actual holding together (binding??) of the newly-formed nucleus. I HAD thought that the energy to do this CAME OUT OF THE MISSING MASS OR BINDING ENERGY--taken AWAY from the 28.3MeV and sunk into the nucleus, to hold it together. I now feel that perhaps it is the "nuclear force" that holds the nucleus together on a permanent basis. I now think "nuclear force" is an entirely different entity than the missing mass energy and/or the binding energy. OK, here we go: 1.) Are "missing mass energy" and "binding energy" different names for the same entity?? 2.) Is the "nuclear force" a completely different entity than the "missing mass energy" and/or the "binding energy"?? I am not concerned now if one causes the other or not--I merely want to know if they are the same individual or different individuals. Hopefully I can better word my questions this time around, so it is obvious what part I don't understand. You folks are awesome---many thanks!