Nucleon - Definition, Nucleon Number, Binding Energy, Types, Properties, FAQs
Here, in this article, we will discuss about nucleon, what are nucleons, what nucleons are, what is nucleus consist of / nucleons consist of, we will define nucleon / nucleon definition, recall what are nucleons class 9, What is Nucleons in Chemistry, what is nucleons in chemistry, mass of nucleon, difference between nucleus and nucleons, what is nucleon number etc.
What are Nucleons?
We can define a nucleon as one of the particles of the atomic nucleus. Each and every atomic nucleus has one or more Nucleons in it. These Nucleons are surrounded with one or more electrons around them. They occupy a small space inside the nucleus. Every atom is made up of nucleons and can be further divided into smaller particles such as electrons, protons, and neutrons and they move around the nucleus. We can consider an atom like a mini solar system, where the electrons orbit a central star which is the nucleus and is composed of nucleons.
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What are Nucleons in Chemistry?
We study the Nucleons both in chemistry and in physics and a nucleon can be either a proton or a neutron. By finding the number of nucleons in a nucleus, we can easily find the mass number of the isotopes. We can consider Nucleons as the composite particles made up of three quarks which are bonded together by a strong intermolecular force. This strong interaction between the two or more nucleons is known as inter-nucleon interaction or nuclear force. We know this fact that protons and neutrons are the components of an atomic nucleus.
Binding energy per nucleon
Even though the nucleus consists of neutrons and protons, we find that the mass of the nucleus is very less than the sum of the individual masses of the protons and neutrons. The difference is in the measurement of the binding energy per nucleon that keeps the nucleons together. This binding energy possessed by the nucleons can be determined by using the Einstein relationship:
Nuclear binding energy =
for the alpha particles and gives binding energy of 28.3 MeV.
Nucleon can be of the subatomic particles i.e. either the proton or the neutron contained in the atomic nuclei. We can define protons as the positively charged subatomic particles and neutrons as the uncharged particles. The neutrons behave identically under the influence of the short-range of the nuclear force. These subatomic particles are tightly bound in atomic nuclei and are scattered by each other.
We find the strong interaction between these particles being independent of the electric charge. Also we find that the unstable subatomic particles are heavier than nucleons. These are hyperons and baryon resonances. These comprise of a nucleon among their final decay products. We can consider the nucleon as in the baryon ground state. Also we know that every particle has its antiparticle. The antinucleons are of two types i.e. the antiproton and the antineutron.
Types of Nucleons
As we have already discussed, there are two types of nucleons i.e. protons and neutrons. A proton has positive electric charge on it whereas; a neutron has no electric charge on it. These two particles are inside the nucleus of the atom and generate a positive charge as the neutron has no charge at all.
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Properties of Nucleons
The neutron is not stable on its own. Generally, it can be found in nuclear reactions and is used in scientific analysis. Both the proton and neutron have three quarks. The proton contains two up quarks (which is the lightest of all quarks and is a major constituent of matter also a type of elementary particle) and one down quark (which is the second lightest of all quarks) On the contrary a neutron contains one up quark and two down quarks.
Nucleons are an integral part of the atomic nucleus as they cannot exist as independent nucleons. The nucleons are held with a strong force by the atomic nucleus. When this strong force gets broken, it produces a lot of power, and this power is known as nuclear energy which is similar to what is used in nuclear bombs. The Nucleons present in radioactive substances such as uranium can be very harmful as they can spread alpha radiation in a fraction of seconds.
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We can summarize about the Nucleons in the following way:-
Composition of Nucleus: Generally, the nucleus is composed of protons and neutrons and is collectively known as the nucleons.
Nuclear charge: The nucleus contains protons and neutrons.
Nuclear mass: The mass of the nucleus is generally known as the nuclear mass.
Nuclear Size and shape: The shape of the nucleus is generally considered to be spherical and is very small in size.
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