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10.2 Nuclear Fusion in the Sun.docx

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Natural Science
NATS 1740
Patrick Hall

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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