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Thanks for the help.
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How much work is needed to assemble an atomic nucleus containing three protons (such as Be) if we model it as an equilateral triangle of side  with a proton at each vertex? Assume the protons started from very far away.
W=3.46*10^-13 J
jbananas
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How much work is needed to assemble an atomic nucleus containing three protons (such as Be) if we model it as an equilateral triangle of side  with a proton at each vertex? Assume the protons started from very far away.
W=3.46*10^-13 J

It would be the sum of the potential energies of all possible pairs;
W = 3kq^2/r = 34.56 x 10^-14 J

It takes no work to bring in the first proton.
It takes kqq/r to bring in the 2nd proton.
It takes kqq/r + kqq/r to bring in the 3rd proton.

where "r" is the separation distance between the proton pairs.

You can calculate these works by actually doing the work integral qE dr where E is the field of the protons in place and the integral is from infinity to final "r".

Of course this is just electric work. It doesn't take into account nuclear force interactions or quantum spin-spin interactions. So its a "rough" model.
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