Problem: The thermite reaction, Fe2O3(s) + 2Al(s)  →  2Fe(s) + Al2O3(s), Ho= -851.5kJ/mol, is one of the most exothermic reactions known. Because the heat released is sufficient to melt the iron product, the reaction is used to weld metal under the ocean.How does this amount of thermal energy compare with the energy released when 2 mol of protons and 2 mol of neutrons combine to form 1 mol of alpha particles?Hint: The mass of a proton is 1.0072765 amu, the mass of a neutron is 1.0086649 amu, and the mass of a helium nucleus is 4.0015 amu.

🤓 Based on our data, we think this question is relevant for Professor Singmaster & Slobodov's class at SJSU.

FREE Expert Solution

Nuclear equation:


2 p11+2 n01He24


Step 1: Calculate the mass defect (Δm) in kg.


m=products-reactants


m=mass He24-2×mass p11+2×mass n01m=4.0015 amu             -2(1.0072765 amu)+2(1.0086649 amu)m=4.0015 amu-4.03188 amu

m=-0.03038 amu×1.6606×10-27 kg1 amu  

  Δm = –5.0454 x 10-29 kg

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Problem Details

The thermite reaction, Fe2O3(s) + 2Al(s)  →  2Fe(s) + Al2O3(s), Ho= -851.5kJ/mol, is one of the most exothermic reactions known. Because the heat released is sufficient to melt the iron product, the reaction is used to weld metal under the ocean.

How does this amount of thermal energy compare with the energy released when 2 mol of protons and 2 mol of neutrons combine to form 1 mol of alpha particles?

Hint: The mass of a proton is 1.0072765 amu, the mass of a neutron is 1.0086649 amu, and the mass of a helium nucleus is 4.0015 amu.


Frequently Asked Questions

What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Mass Defect concept. If you need more Mass Defect practice, you can also practice Mass Defect practice problems.

What professor is this problem relevant for?

Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Singmaster & Slobodov's class at SJSU.