Nuclear Binding Energy
Before moving to the nuclear binding energy, the revision of nuclear forces is indispensable. Reason, the binding energy, by its name, poses the power to bind the nucleus together. The term nuclear brings an image of a small spherical ball with the storage of nucleons within itself and the term force is a well known scientist. So, the nuclear force, patently, the force acting on the nucleus. To be specific, the force is due to neutron (majorly). The protons and electrons are more inclined toward electrostatic force. However, the focus is the nuclear force seeing that it is attractive. Have you ever wondered why the addition of neutrons till an adequate quantity does not start a nuclear reaction?
Well, this is for the fact that neutrons, when added, increase the effect of nuclear force of “attraction” and contribute trivially to the electrostatic force of “repulsion.” This statement, however, is convincing as the neutron is neutral. But, Remember, it is the neutron which- on clashing to an exceptionally unstable nucleus- starts a quick and dangerous reaction. From all this discussion we are now capable of deriving some conclusive points.
- For a stable “nucleus,”
- For a stable “atom,”
Finally, let us start with the binding energy. After revising the above points, it will be easy to dive into binding energy and catch the important fish. Now, to be crisp and quick, I will explain the concept through an extremely specific path. First point to remember is that the “Binding energy” is the energy that binds an atom- keeps it stable. Therefore, undoubtedly, binding energy(B.E) varies directly with stability. Next comes the formula (for atom- ‘X’)as follows,
The above equation is not a reaction but a representation of the presence of binding energy(B.E) in the atom of element ‘X’. This equation reveals the dependence of the B.E on the neutrons and protons, which themselves are binded by the nuclear force. Binding energy has a constant value, which is obtained through experiment, for a particular atom. Hence it can be found in the table of reference for chemistry. That said, let’s roll the next and interesting topic that reveals one of the uses of the equation for mass energy equivalence.