The Mass Defect
Um...if you add up 6 protons and 6 neutrons, you get more than 12
Good point. The mass of 6 protons and 6 neutrons is 12.0956 amu,
to be precise--but the mass of a carbon nucleus is less than the sum of
Not only is it possible, it's essential to the universe as we know it. In
the section on nuclear
physics, I'll discuss the explanation and the consequences of the
mysterious missing mass.