Calculating energy in fusion

  1. Hi,

    I'm doing some coursework on nuclear fusion, and am trying to calculate the energy released by fusing a tritium and a deuterium atom together. I used the equation:

    ( Σ mass (reactants) - Σ mass (products) ) x 931.5 MeV/amu = Binding energy.

    and Deuterium + Tritium = Helium + neutron

    I know the value should be about 17.58 MeV, however when I did it it came out as about 18.1.

    The values I used are Triton: 3.0160492u , Deuteron: 2.0135532u , Helium nucleus: 4.0015061u and a neutron: 1.0086649u.

    Thanks in advance

  2. jcsd
  3. Bill_K

    Bill_K 4,157
    Science Advisor

    You're off by about 0.5 MeV, which is the mass of an electron. Are the values you quoted the mass of the atoms or the nuclei?
    1 person likes this.
  4. ah, I think the value I used for tritium was the atomic mass rather than the mass of the nuclei... thanks very much!
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