How can the nucleus be lighter than its constituents?

  title={How can the nucleus be lighter than its constituents?},
  author={Nils-Erik Bomark},
  journal={European Journal of Physics},
  • N. Bomark
  • Published 18 February 2021
  • Physics
  • European Journal of Physics
The fact that the nucleus is lighter than its constituents, seems rather strange. How can the whole have a smaller mass than its components? To get some intuition about how this is possible, one can look at a simpler more familiar system exhibiting the same phenomena; the hydrogen atom. It turns out that the same is true here; the hydrogen atom is a little bit lighter than the sum of its constituents. This difference corresponds to the ionisation energy of hydrogen. This observation allows a… 


The AME2016 atomic mass evaluation (II). Tables, graphs and references
This paper is the second part of the new evaluation of atomic masses, AME2016. Using least-squares adjustments to all evaluated and accepted experimental data, described in Part I, we derive tables
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