The Nuclear Binding Energy calculator computes the energy released in the formation of an atom based on the change in mass (Δm).
INSTRUCTIONS: Choose units and enter the following:
Nuclear Binding Energy (E): The calculator returns the energy in Mega-electron volts (MeV). However, this can be automatically converted to compatible units (e.g. Joules) via the pull-down menu.
Note: This calculator has been updated. The default input units have been changed from grams (g) to atomic mass units (u) and output units from Joules (J) to Mega electron volts (MeV). Grams and Joules are still available via the pull-down menu. Also, theis now used in units of MeV/u .
The equation forcalculates the energy released in the formation of an atom from subatomic particles. This can be expressed in a rewritten form of the Einstein relationship:
E = Δm⋅c2
Nuclear binding energy is the energy equivalent of the mass deficiency of an atom. Mass deficiency is the amount of matter that would be converted into energy if an atom were constructed from fundamental particles1. So, essentially, nuclear binding energy is the energy released from an atom if it were formed from individual protons and neutrons.
In the most common fusion experiments, Deuterium and Tritium are super heated in devices like a tokamak at ITER to cause a fusion reaction (see graphic). This is known as a DT reaction. In a DT reaction, the Deuterium and Tritium are fused together and create a Helium 4 atom with an energy state of 3.5 MeV, and a highly energetic neutron at 14.1 MeV. The following lists their mass in atomic mass units (u):
The delta in mass is `Delta_m `= 0.0188828 u. If you use the binding energy formula in this calculator, the released energy equivalent to 0.0188828 u is equal to 17.588 MeV, which is the sum of the 14.1 MeV neutron and the 3.5 MeV Helium atom in the graphic above.
This calculator is dedicated to the scientists and administrators at the U.S. Department of Energy in the Office of Science (Fusion Energy Sciences) and in ARPA-E. These scientists have kept the dream of abundant energy through nuclear fusion alive. Thanks to their hard work, the world is rapidly approaching the miracle of capturing the power of the Sun here on Earth. Nuclear fusion creates astonishing amounts of energy using abundantly available materials (sea water and lithium). Nuclear fusion creates no greenhouse gasses and poses no long-term radioactive waist. Commercially viable nuclear fusion reactors will change the world. See The Nuclear Energy we all need and want, NUCLEAR FUSION.
 Whitten, et al. "Chemistry" 10th Edition. Pp. 855-856