What if I say that the average mass increases? I'm thinking this because the fusion of atoms heavier than Fe as well as the falling apart of atoms that are lighter than Fe both need energy while at the same time they both result in a lower binding energy release. Doesn't the net energy difference have to be turned into mass or do the newly formed atoms merely possess more kinetic energy?I feel like you are in general on the right track, but I don't like this statement. I don't think we can assign mass to nucleons in nuclei, at best we can calculate their average mass
I take it that my statements 1 to 3 are more or less correct?
It'd need two Helium atoms from what I know. I'm starting to get the idea that the difference is that the released binding energy is based on when you start from single protons and neutrons to form a 12C atom while the energy from the triple alpha process is based on when you start from 2 Helium atoms. It still amazes me though that starting from atoms would yield more energy than starting from the basic single particles.What is the starting point of the triple alpha process?