# Episode 523: Preparation for nuclear stability topic

Teaching Guidance for 16-19

Starting from the pattern of stability, this section looks at forces in the nucleus and the idea of binding energy.

## Main aims of this topic

Students will:

- Sketch the
*N*-*Z*graph for stable nuclei - Describe the balance of forces that results in a stable nucleus
- Calculate mass defect and binding energy
- Relate nuclear fission and fusion to the graph of binding energy per nucleon

## Prior knowledge

Students should know about the composition of nuclei in terms of protons and neutrons. They should be familiar with nuclear notation e.g. 20983Bi

## Where this leads

An understanding of nuclear stability leads on to a study of nuclear fusion and fission.