Nuclear Physics, portons and neutrons

In summary, the conversation discusses the mass of an oxygen nucleus created with equal numbers of protons and neutrons, as well as the binding energy of this nucleus. The mass is calculated to be approximately 16.096u, which is close to the expected value of 16u. The binding energy is determined to be -0.101085*c^2, indicating an energy loss due to mass loss of the nucleons.
  • #1

Homework Statement

You have 10 protons and 10 neutrons to paly with (mass of oxygen = 15.994915)

a. What is the mass of an oxygen nucleus that you build with equal numbers of protons and neutrons?

b. What is the binding energy of this nucleus?

Homework Equations


The Attempt at a Solution

for a.

There are 8 protons in an oxygen, so 8 neutrons as well. Thus...
in us its about 16.096u...isn't suppose to be exactly 16, or is it close enough?

for b.

E=mc^2- except m is the change in m, so would it be 16.096-15.994915?
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  • #2
You are right!

minor things:
mass of neutron at rest and proton at rest are not exactly the same.
However, In three significant figures, it is 1.67 E-27 kg, so you are right.

for b,
delta mass means change in mass, change is always calculated as final minus initial
so its mass final minus mass initial
hence change in mass is actually 15.994915 - 16.096 = -0.101085 u
and binding energy is -0.101085*c2

Binding energy is minus, because the question is done in terms of energy loss
due to mass loss of the nucleons.

If the question is asking "how much energy is needed to break the nucleons in an oxygen nucleus apart", hence the mass final (when the nucleons are free) will be bigger than initial (when the nucleons are bonded together). And in this case energy will be positive (as energy input, not loss).
  • #3
Thanks so much!

1. What is nuclear physics?

Nuclear physics is a branch of physics that studies the properties and behavior of atomic nuclei, including their structure, interactions, and transformations.

2. What are protons and neutrons?

Protons and neutrons are subatomic particles that make up the nucleus of an atom. Protons have a positive charge, while neutrons have no charge.

3. How are protons and neutrons related to nuclear physics?

Protons and neutrons are the building blocks of atomic nuclei, and their interactions are the basis of nuclear physics. The number of protons and neutrons in an atom determines its atomic number and mass number, which are crucial for understanding nuclear reactions.

4. Are protons and neutrons the only particles involved in nuclear reactions?

No, other particles such as electrons, positrons, and neutrinos can also be involved in nuclear reactions. However, protons and neutrons are the primary particles responsible for the stability and behavior of atomic nuclei.

5. What are some real-world applications of nuclear physics?

Nuclear physics has many practical applications, including nuclear power generation, nuclear medicine, and nuclear weapons. Nuclear reactions also play a crucial role in understanding the origins and evolution of the universe.

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