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    My physics teacher always refers to the two as if there's a causal relationship in that direction (higher binding energy -> greater mass defect) and I didn't get the chance to check this with her before the holidays. Is it correct to say a higher binding energy causes a greater mass defect in the nucleus? It makes more sense to me that it's the other way round.
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    Its not so much a question of cause and effect - they are different ways of saying the same thing

    binding energy = mass defect x c^2
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    YUP. Both represent inevitably the same thing. If mass defect is large, energy for joining or separating nuclear constituents will be large

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    From the equation E=mc^2, you can see E is proportional to m. Therefore binding energy is proportional to mass defect.
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    Right, I get that. Thanks!
 
 
 
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