|The Aston Curve|
The binding energy per nucleon represents the average energy needed to rip one nucleon away from a nucleus, and is a measure of nuclear stability. The curve of binding energy represented as a function of the number of nucleons is known as the Aston Curve - a tribute to the English physicist F.W. Aston. Aston was one of the first scientists to measure the mass of different nuclei, work that earned him the 1922 Nobel prize. One of the important observations that can be made using Aston's curve is that around 8 MeV are needed in average to remove a nucleon from a nucleus, with the binding energy per nucleon reaching a maximum of 8.8 million electronvolts (MeV) for nickel 62 and a minimum of 7.6 million electronvolts for uranium.