Nuclear binding energy and binding energy per nucleon are difficult concepts for A-level physics students to grasp. I have found the ‘pool table analogy’ that follows helpful for students to wrap their heads around these concepts.
Since mass and energy are not independent entities, their separate conservation principles are properly a single one — the principle of conservation of mass-energy. Mass can be created or destroyed , but when this happens, an equivalent amount of energy simultaneously vanishes or comes into being, and vice versa. Mass and energy are different aspects of the same thing.
Beiser 1987: 29
E = mc2
There, I’ve said it. This is the first time I have directly referred to this equation since starting this blog in 2013. I suppose I have been more concerned with the ‘andallthat‘-ness side of things rather than E=mc2. Well, no more! E=mc2
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