plasmapy.atomic.nuclear_binding_energy(particle: plasmapy.atomic.particle_class.Particle, mass_numb: int = None) → astropy.units.quantity.Quantity

Return the nuclear binding energy associated with an isotope.

  • particle (str, int, or Particle) – A Particle object, a string representing an element or isotope, or an integer representing the atomic number of an element.
  • mass_numb (int (optional)) – The mass number of an isotope, which is required if and only if the first argument can only be used to determine the element and not the isotope.

binding_energy – The binding energy of the nucleus in units of Joules.

Return type:


  • InvalidParticleError – If the inputs do not correspond to a valid particle.
  • AtomicError – If the inputs do not correspond to a valid isotope or nucleon.
  • TypeError – If the inputs are not of the correct types.

See also

nuclear_reaction_energy : Returns the change in
binding energy during nuclear fusion or fission reactions.


>>> from astropy import units as u
>>> nuclear_binding_energy('Fe-56').to(u.MeV)
<Quantity 492.25957876 MeV>
>>> nuclear_binding_energy(26, 56)
<Quantity 7.88686788e-11 J>
>>> nuclear_binding_energy('p')  # proton
<Quantity 0. J>
>>> from astropy import units as u
>>> before = nuclear_binding_energy("D") + nuclear_binding_energy("T")
>>> after = nuclear_binding_energy("alpha")
>>> (after - before).to(u.MeV)  # released energy from D + T --> alpha + n
<Quantity 17.58932778 MeV>