27 Nuclear Energy

This page covers nuclear energy section of the course. 

This unit can be tricky on the maths and attention to details. You can easily spoil your calculations by not taking care with units. The energies you meet in this chapter may be expressed as a number of J or MeV. Some people get confused between mass defect and binding energy.

You may also get confused with the idea that you need to provide the binding energy to break a nucleus apart. Take balls of plasticine, stick them together and make a nucleus. Bits of plasticine can get stuck under your finger nails

You’d need to put these back into the balls if you wanted to separate them out again – this is related to the missing binding energy which then comes out in a nuclear explosion (fission) or nuclear fusion in the sun.


27 Nuclear Energy Student Booklet

27 Nuclear Energy

27.1 Binding Energy – Analysis sheet

27.2 Binding Energy Calcs


Binding Energy - A-level Physics

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00:00 Relative atomic mass unit
02:23 Mass defect
03:55 Binding energy
06:49 Fission & fusion
09:05 Binding energy per nucleon
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