NuclearEnergetics - Energetics of nuclear reactions Notes...

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Energetics of nuclear reactions Notes on General Chemistry http://quantum.bu.edu/notes/GeneralChemistry/NuclearEnergetics.pdf Last updated Wednesday, October 18, 2006 10:00:21-05:00 Copyright © 2005 Dan Dill ([email protected]) Department of Chemistry, Boston University, Boston MA 02215 The energy change in nuclear reactions is due to the gain or loss of mass in the reaction. According to the Einstein mass-energy equivalence principle, if mass changes by D m , then there is an associated energy change D E =D mc 2 , where c = 299792458 m/s is the speed of light (in a vacuum). à Nuclear binding energy per nucleon A neutral atom of mass number A and atomic number Z is composed of Z electrons, Z protons, and A - Z neutrons. If we compare the mass of these components to the mass of the atom, the atom always has less mass ! This means that the atom is energetically more stable than its separated components. To see how to confirm the mass loss on formation of an atom from its components, let's calculate the mass loss for the formation of an atom of argon-40, the most stable isotope of argon. Web Elements,
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NuclearEnergetics - Energetics of nuclear reactions Notes...

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