Stated another way, a very heavy nucleus sometimes splits, a process called particle of light).
In building a carbon-12 atom from 6 protons, 6 neutrons, and 6 electrons: Loss of Mass (m) = 12.098940 - 12.000000 = 0.098940 AMU Gain of Binding Energy (E) = 0.098940 AMU c Figure 201: Binding Energy.
Fission inside nuclear reactors produces many free neutrons.
Water is an excellent substance for absorbing the energy of fast neutrons and thereby producing heat, because water is cheap and contains so much hydrogen.
For example, a deuterium (hydrogen-2) nucleus contains a proton and a neutron.
Its nucleus has a total binding energy of about 2.2 Me V, so the average binding energy per nucleon is about 1.1 Me V. For example, when uranium fissions, the sum of the binding energies of the fragments is greater than the binding energy of the uranium nucleus, so energy is released.
, a type of decay, is beta decay in reverse; that is, an atom’s electron enters the nucleus, combines with a proton, and converts it into a neutron.