The Physics
Opus in profectus

Binding Energy

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  1. The fuel used in most high-yield thermonuclear weapons is solid lithium 6 deuteride. These weapons, commonly known as "hydrogen bombs" or "H-bombs", use the energy released when a nucleus of light lithium (63Li, m = 6.015121 u) and heavy hydrogen, also known as deuterium (21H, m = 2.0140 u), fuse to form two nuclei of ordinary helium (42He, m = 4.00260 u).
    1. Write this nuclear reaction out in symbolic form.
    2. What is the mass defect when one molecule of lithium 6 deuteride is transformed into two atoms of helium? State your answer in…
      1. atomic mass units
      2. megaelectronvolts
      3. joules
      4. kilograms


  1. binding-energy.pdf
    Calculate the binding energy (in MeV) liberated in each of the following nuclear reactions.