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Atomic and Nuclear Physics DOE-HDBK-1019/1-93 MASS DEFECT AND BINDING ENERGY MASS DEFECT AND BINDING ENERGY The separate laws  of Conservation of  Mass and Conservation  of Energy are  not applied strictly on  the nuclear level.   It is possible to convert  between mass and energy.    Instead  of  two  separate  conservation  laws,  a  single  conservation  law states  that  the  sum  of  mass  and  energy  is  conserved.   Mass  does  not  magically appear and disappear at random.   A decrease in mass will be accompanied by a corresponding increase in energy and vice versa. EO  1.7 DEFINE  the  following  terms: a. Mass defect b. Binding  energy EO  1.8 Given  the atomic mass for a nuclide and  the atomic masses of a neutron, proton, and electron, CALCULATE the mass defect and  binding  energy  of  the  nuclide. Mass  Defect Careful measurements have shown that the mass of a particular atom is always slightly less than the  sum  of  the  masses  of  the  individual  neutrons,  protons,  and  electrons  of  which  the  atom consists. The difference between the mass of the atom and the sum of the masses of its parts is called  the  mass  defect  (Dm).    The  mass  defect  can  be  calculated  using  Equation  (1-1).    In calculating the mass defect it is important to use the full accuracy of mass measurements because the difference in mass is small compared to the mass of the atom.   Rounding off the masses of atoms  and  particles  to  three  or  four  significant  digits  prior  to  the  calculation  will  result  in  a calculated mass defect of zero. Dm = [ Z(mp + me) + (A-Z)mn ] - matom (1-1) where: Dm = mass defect (amu) mp = mass of a proton   (1.007277 amu) mn = mass of a neutron (1.008665 amu) me = mass of an electron   (0.000548597 amu) matom = mass of nuclide AZ  X (amu) Z = atomic number (number of protons) A = mass number (number of nucleons) Rev. 0 Page 17 NP-01


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