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Mass of Hydrogen atom

  1. Mar 12, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    (a) Is the mass of a hydrogen atom in its ground state larger or smaller than the sum of the masses of a proton and an electron?
    b) What is the mass difference?
    c) How large is the difference as a percentage of the total mass?
    d) Is it large enough to affect the value of the atomic mass listed to six decimal places?

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    My intuitive answer to a) is that the ground state total is smaller than the sum of the masses of the proton adn electron... I believe a hydrogen atom is made up of a proton & an electron, but I make its atomic mass 1u and then compare it to the mass of a proton + an electron... however, I'm not sure if this is right, mostly because it seems too simple. Plus, when I search for the mass of a hydrogen atom online, it comes up with something about equal to 2u...
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 12, 2009 #2


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  4. Mar 12, 2009 #3
    yeah try and research something called mass defect and binding energy
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