Hamilton, Joseph H. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee.
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The nucleus of the atom of heavy hydrogen, 2H (deuterium). The deuteron d is composed of a proton and a neutron. As the simplest multinucleon nucleus, the deuteron has been the subject of extensive study. Its binding energy is 2.224 MeV; that is, this is the amount of energy that must be added to a deuteron for it to dissociate into a proton and a neutron. The accurate determination of this dissociation energy provides the means of calculating the mass of the neutron, the mass of the deuteron (2.013553 amu) and proton being known from other experiments. See also: Deuterium; Neutron; Nuclear binding energy; Proton
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