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Stability in Nuclei

  1. Mar 13, 2015 #1
    How does the nucleons losing some of its mass energy help in making it more stable?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 13, 2015 #2

    mfb

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    It does not "help", and it is not true in general.
    If you follow a decay chain long enough, you will always reach some particle which has no possible decay mode any more simply because it does not have enough energy (the decay products would have more mass than the particle itself, therefore the decay is impossible).
     
  4. Mar 13, 2015 #3
    So does nucleons lose mass energy so that a decay reaction??
     
  5. Mar 13, 2015 #4

    mfb

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    The nucleus in total loses mass - even if you include the mass of emitted alpha particles or electrons for alpha and beta decays, respectively.
     
  6. Mar 14, 2015 #5
    But suppose a case of a nuclei formatoon like fusion or fission. Now if some mass energy is lost in the process of formation of the new nuclei in the form of heat, isn't it suppose to decrease the potential energy of the nuclei?
     
  7. Mar 14, 2015 #6

    mfb

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    It decreases the total energy. "Potential energy" is a problematic concept here because you can easily mix it with other concepts.
     
  8. Mar 14, 2015 #7
    Oh ok thanks a lot.
     
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