This graph appeared in the 2014 HSC.

  • Excluding the lighter nuclei, the average binding energy per nucleon is 8 M eV
  • The maximum binding energy occurs around atomic number 50 and represents the most stable nuclei.  Iron-56 has an average binding energy of 8.8 M eV
  • Nuclei with a very low mass or very high mass re unstable.  They have a low binding energy.
  • Nuclei with a low mass number may undergo NUCLEAR FUSION.  Smaller nuclei join together to form a larger nuclei which is more stable.the product has a higher binding energy.
  • Nuclei with high mass number under NUCLEAR FISSION.  The nuclei split to give two daughter nuclei plus neutrons.  The daughter nuclei have a higher binding energy.  They are more stable.