1. PF Contest - Win "Conquering the Physics GRE" book! Click Here to Enter
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Total Binding Energy

  1. Jan 11, 2010 #1
    When determining the total binding energy of an atom I understand the method to be as follows:

    The total mass of all nucleons added together


    The total mass of the atom minus the mass of the electrons

    My question is, how do you determine the number of electrons in an atom? All the questions I have done of this nature so far seem to be using one electron for the calculations. Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 11, 2010 #2


    User Avatar

    The number of electrons in a neutral atom is the same as the number of protons in the nucleus.
  4. Jan 11, 2010 #3
    So when calculating TBE, should I always assume that the atom has a neutral charge?
  5. Jan 11, 2010 #4


    User Avatar

    I would think so. The contribution of the electrons to the binding energy it probably small compared to the nuclear binding energy (I haven't calculated it myself in a long long time, so I don't recall the exact comparison.)
  6. Jan 11, 2010 #5
    Ok. Thanks!
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook