binding energy

noun Physics.
Also called separation energy. the energy required to decompose a molecule, atom, or nucleus into its constituent particles, equal to the energy equivalent of the mass defect.
the energy required to separate a single particle or group of particles from a molecule, atom, or nucleus.
Compare mass defect.

1930–35 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
binding energy
1.  the energy that must be supplied to a stable nucleus before it can undergo fission. It is equal to the mass defect
2.  the energy required to remove a particle from a system, esp an electron from an atom

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Example sentences
For others, the lack of a binding energy-efficiency target represented a fundamental flaw.
Add gravitational binding energy plus a soupçon more to exceed escape velocity.
Stack binding energy is vanishingly small compared to sheet binding energy.
The reason they both release energy can be understood by examining a curve called the binding energy per nucleon curve.
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