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Nuclear Binding Energy

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by SLDENTAL, May 15, 2014.


    SLDENTAL 2+ Year Member

    Mar 2, 2014
    I am a confused on this concept if someone could help out.

    My book says nuclear binding energy is the energy required to separate a nucleus into its individual nucleons. Why do people like chad say that it is the energy that holds the nucleus together? I'm confused on how these two relate. In the former it is the energy to separate a nucleus and the latter energy to hold nucleus together?

    thank you!
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  3. Cool Beans

    Cool Beans 7+ Year Member

    Apr 5, 2010
    A nucleus with a greater nuclear binding energy (per nucleon) is a more stable nucleus and would be more difficult to "pull apart" into its individual nucleons. The nuclear binding energy is the energy that must be absorbed (i.e. put into the system) to overcome the attractive forces holding the nucleus together; greater overall attractive forces would require the input of more energy. In this sense it's a measure of how strongly the nucleons are being held together in the nucleus.

    If you look at it we typically think of bond enthalpies and lattice energy in a similar light as being a measure of how strongly atoms are bonded together even though the technical definitions are for breaking the bonds.

    Hope this helps!
    SLDENTAL likes this.

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