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10.2 Nuclear Fusion in the Sun.docx

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Department
Natural Science
Course
NATS 1740
Professor
Patrick Hall
Semester
Winter

Description
10.2 Nuclear Fusion in the Sun Nuclear fusion High temperature enables nuclear fusion to happen in the core of the Sun; high density ensures it happens often enough to power the Sun. • Sun releases energy by fusing four hydrogen nuclei into one helium nucleus, which has less mass than four hydrogen nuclei do. • The difference in mass is released as energy (E=mc2), in the form of gamma-ray photons. • Energy starts out in the core of the Sun as gamma ray photons. Proton-proton chain the proton-proton chain is how hydrogen fuses into helium in Sun. • IN: 4 protons • OUT: 1 H4 nucleus, 2 neutrinos, 2 gamma rays, 2 positrons (which collide with 2 electrons, making more gamma rays) • Total mass is 0.7% lower (4 million tons of matter converted to energy every second inside the Sun!) Solar Thermostat Decline (rise) in core temperat
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