Energy Changes in Nuclear Reactions (Section)
The atomic masses of hydrogen-2 (deuterium), helium-4, and lithium-6 are 2.014102 amu, 4.002602 amu, and 6.0151228 amu, respectively. For each isotope, calculate
(a) the nuclear mass, (b) the nuclear binding energy, (c) the nuclear binding energy per nucleon., (d) Which of these three isotopes has the largest nuclear binding energy per nucleon? Does this agree with the trends plotted in Figure?
Figure Nuclear binding energies. The average binding energy per nucleon increases initially as the mass number increases and then decreases slowly. Because of these trends, fusion of light nuclei and fission of heavy nuclei are exothermic processes.
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