SAT Subject Physics Practice Question 507: Answer and Explanation
8. The binding energy of a nucleus is equal to
A. the average energy of each nucleon.
B. the energy needed to split the nucleus into its parts.
C. the mass-energy difference between protons and neutrons.
D. the energy necessary to overcome the neutron-neutron repulsion.
E. the energy required to remove a proton from the nucleu
Correct Answer: B
The correct answer is (B). The binding energy is the result of the conversion of the mass defect into the energy that holds the protons in the nucleus in spite of their repulsion for each other.