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Nuclear Chemistry

  1. Feb 22, 2007 #1
    Is it true an Iron nucleus requires the most amount of energy to hold it together?

    I would have thought it would be the larger the nucleus the more energy is required to hold it toghether.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 22, 2007 #2

    Gokul43201

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    Per nucleon, yes.

    The total binding energy increases with the nuclear mass, but the binding energy per nucleon hits a maximum at Fe.
     
  4. Feb 23, 2007 #3
    So a heavier nucleus, not too much heavier, may have less overall binding energy than Fe?

    Say Nickel compared to Iron?
     
  5. Feb 23, 2007 #4

    Gokul43201

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    It's possible, but I don't know the actual numbers.

    PS: Fe-56 has the highest BE per nucleon among naturally occuring isotopes; I believe one of the artificial isotopes of Ni has a higher value.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2007
  6. Feb 23, 2007 #5
    What I'm getting at is if that were true wouldn't it prove E=MC^2 wrong?
    As the Fe nucleus would have more energy but less mass than the nickel nucleus.
     
  7. Feb 23, 2007 #6

    Gokul43201

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    No, it would not. The binding energy is not the same as the rest energy of the nucleus. The binding energy is related to the mass defect, not the total nuclear mass. The greater the mass defect, the greater the total binding energy.

    If you think there's something that proves E=mc^2 wrong, then you've either got incorrect data, or you're applying an incorrect reasoning. In this case, it is the latter.
     
  8. Feb 23, 2007 #7
    I see how my thinking was wrong, it was worth a try though.
    :biggrin: Imagine proving Einstein wrong:biggrin:
     
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