explain the terms mass defect and binding energy

Asked by Vivek Reddy M | 13th Feb, 2012, 06:05: PM

Expert Answer:

Binding energy of a nucleus is the energy with which nucleons are bound in the nucleus. It is measured by the work required to be done to seperate the nucleons an infinite distance apart from the nucleus, so that they may not interact with each other.
It is found that the rest mass of a nucleus is always slightly less than the sum of the rest masses of free neutrons and protons composing the nucleus. This is as if certain mass disappears in the formation of the nucleus. This difference between the sum of the masses of neutrons and protons forming a nucleus and mass of the nucleus is called mass defect. It is this mass defect which appears in the form of binding energy, responsible for binding the nucleons together in the nucleus.

Answered by  | 13th Feb, 2012, 06:57: PM

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