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The solid line represents a neutron to proton ratio of 1:1.
Neutron-poor nuclides decay by modes that convert a proton into a neutron.
The synthesis of a mole of helium releases 3.4 million times as much energy.
Since most nuclear reactions are carried out on very small samples of material, the mole is not a reasonable basis of measurement.
A graph of the number of neutrons versus the number of protons for all stable naturally occurring nuclei.
Nuclei that lie to the right of this band of stability are neutron poor; nuclei to the left of the band are neutron-rich.
Many of these nuclides decay by both routes, but positron emission is more often observed in the lighter nuclides, such as A third mode of decay is observed in neutron-poor nuclides that have atomic numbers larger than 83.Binding energies are usually expressed in units of electron volts (e V) or million electron volts (Me V) per atom.Binding energies gradually increase with atomic number, although they tend to level off near the end of the periodic table.The mass defect is therefore also known as the binding energy of the nucleus. It measures the difference between the stability of the products of the reaction and the starting materials.
The larger the binding energy, the more stable the nucleus.A more useful quantity is obtained by dividing the binding energy for a nuclide by the total number of protons and neutrons it contains.