Binding Energy in Atoms

The concept of binding energy was something that I never intuitively grasped, so I decided to finally understand it to my satisfaction.  Why is it that for lighter elements, there is a net creation of energy during fusion, and for heavy elements above iron, there is a net creation of energy during fission, and for iron there is no net creation of energy.  This explanation below I believe is correct.  However, in my search of the internet I only find the potential energy curve for the light elements that I show in the first figure.  For some reason I don’t see the curve for elements heavier than iron.  Since I guessed right on the first diagram, I feel confident of my explanation of the heavier elements.  I will have to do more study of this to confirm it.  Read more…