plasmapy.particles.nuclear.nuclear_binding_energy(particle: plasmapy.particles.particle_class.Particle, mass_numb: Optional[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.

  • ParticleError – If the inputs do not correspond to a valid isotope or nucleon.

  • TypeError – If the inputs are not of the correct types.

See also


Return the change in binding energy during nuclear fusion or fission reactions.


Return the mass energy of a nucleon or particle.


>>> from astropy import units as u
>>> nuclear_binding_energy('Fe-56').to(u.MeV)
<Quantity 492.25957 MeV>
>>> nuclear_binding_energy(26, 56)
<Quantity 7.8868678e-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 17.589 MeV>