Energy may be released or absorbed in a nuclear reaction – accordingly, nuclear reactions may be classified as exoergic and endoergic.

Consider a nuclear reaction:

A + B → C + D + Q (energy)

The energy released, Q is defined by

Q = (kc + kD) − (kA + kB)

= difference between the K.E. of the products & reactants.

It is experimentally observed that there is a deficit in mass in an exoergic reaction;

Δm = (mA + mB) − (mC + mD) and Q = Δm.c2

It is this ‘ mass deficit ‘ that is converted into energy according to Einstein’s mass-energy equivalence relation.

In the equation for neutron decay : Q = (mn − mp) c2

Also Read :

Size of the nucleus
Binding energy
Nuclear Stability (Nuclear force)
Problem Solving technique (In nuclear physics)

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