# Is my understanding of nuclear fusion and binding energy correct?

• sss1
sss1
Homework Statement
Is my understanding of nuclear fusion and binding energy correct?
Relevant Equations
NA
Binding energy- the amount of energy required to dissemble the nucleus
High binding energy means that the nucleus is very tightly bound, whereas a low binding energy means the nucleus is weakly bound.

The nuclear strong force acts at a very short range whereas the Coulomb force is infinite range.
For small nuclei, adding extra nucleons means there are more nucleons the nuclear strong force to act on, and the coulomb repulsion force is not so strong yet, so the binding energy increases.

When a proton gets added into a nucleus, it will feel Coulomb repulsion from ALL the other protons but only feel the nuclear strong force from its close neighbors. Hence for heavy nuclei, the binding energy decreases after iron because the Coulomb force starts to dominate instead of the strong force? When you fuse, you go from being unstable to being stable (before iron), unstable having lower binding energy and stable having higher binding energy.

For the unstable ones, having lower binding energy, I’d be imagining nucleons vibrating all over the place? So they have excess energy. When they fuse or fission to become more stable, do the nucleons lose energy because the new nuclei vibrate less? That energy is equal to the difference in the binding energies?

If so, for this question, bii, would 28-2-3(2.7) be a good approximation?

If so, for this question, bii, would 28-2-3(2.7)=17.9MeV be a good approximation?

Last edited by a moderator:
sss1 said:
If so, for this question, bii, would 28-2-3(2.7)=17.9MeV be a good approximation?
It would be a good approximation.

sss1

## What is nuclear fusion?

Nuclear fusion is a process where two light atomic nuclei combine to form a heavier nucleus, releasing a significant amount of energy. This process powers stars, including our sun, where hydrogen nuclei fuse to form helium.

## How does binding energy relate to nuclear fusion?

Binding energy is the energy required to hold a nucleus together. During nuclear fusion, the binding energy of the resulting heavier nucleus is higher than the total binding energy of the original lighter nuclei. This difference in binding energy is released as energy, which is why fusion reactions produce so much power.

## Why is energy released during nuclear fusion?

Energy is released during nuclear fusion because the mass of the resulting nucleus is slightly less than the total mass of the original nuclei. According to Einstein's equation, E=mc², this mass difference is converted into energy, which is released during the fusion process.

## What role does temperature play in nuclear fusion?

High temperatures are crucial for nuclear fusion because they provide the necessary energy to overcome the electrostatic repulsion between positively charged nuclei. At extremely high temperatures, nuclei move fast enough to collide and fuse, overcoming their repulsive forces.

## Is my understanding correct that nuclear fusion is more efficient than nuclear fission?

Yes, nuclear fusion is generally considered more efficient than nuclear fission. Fusion releases more energy per unit of fuel compared to fission. Additionally, fusion produces less long-lived radioactive waste and uses more abundant fuel sources, like hydrogen isotopes, making it a more desirable energy source in the long term.

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