Nuclear binding energy can be defined as the minimum amount of energy required to break down or disassemble an atom’s nucleus into the subatomic particles that constitute it (which are protons and neutrons). The term nucleon is used to refer to the group of nucleus dwelling subatomic particles, i.e. protons and neutrons.
- The net binding energy associated with a given nucleus is equal to that of the difference between the nuclear attraction and the disruptive energy of the electric force.
- Note that the net binding energy per nucleon increases as the number of nucleons in the nucleus increases.
- Therefore, the net binding energy per nucleon is dependent on the atomic number.