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This mass-energy conversion is really interesting because it usually deals with very small amounts of mass (barely even noticeable) and very high amounts of energy (enough to power a city).

We are going to go into more detail on this by zooming in on just one alpha particle, or a . Now, let's imagine that the helium nucleus is busted up into little pieces.

If we know how much mass is lost, we can use Einstein's equation, E = mc.

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This is the equivalent of almost 1 gallon of gas (so, not much).

It may get you somewhere around 25-35 miles, depending on the gas mileage of your vehicle, of course.

If this happened, it would require a great deal of energy, and just like there's a special name for the energy required to remove an electron (ionization energy), this great deal of energy required to separate the nucleus into its individual pieces has a special name: nuclear binding energy.

The higher the nuclear binding energy, the more stable the nucleus, meaning that the really stable nuclei will require more energy to split up.

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Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.The mass of a proton measured out to 6 significant figures is 1.00728 amu. Usually, it is reported as 1 amu but measured out to 6 significant figures, we have 1.00866 amu. What if we add up the masses of each of the four particles? That is 0.03038 amu higher than the mass we started out with! Mass defect is basically the difference between the mass of a nucleus and its pieces.And by 'pieces,' I mean specifically its nucleons, or its protons and neutrons. To answer this, we go back to the equation mentioned earlier: E = mc.What this equation states is that mass and energy are directly proportional to each other.If a substance gains mass, it will gain energy; if it loses mass, it will lose energy.Free 5-day trial When you hear the term 'nuclear power,' what comes to mind?

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