Oral Exam 3 - CH. 16 What is hydrogen fusion? Why is...

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CH. 16 What is hydrogen fusion? Why is hydrogen fusion fundamentally unlike the burning of a log in a fireplace? The process of converting hydrogen into helium is called hydrogen fusion. This is fundamentally unlike the burning of a log in fireplace because ordinary burning involves chemical reactions that rearrange the outer electrons of atoms with no effect on the atoms’ nuclei. Hydrogen fusion deals with hydrogen nuclei fusing together to produce a nuclear reaction. Why do thermonuclear reactions occur only in the Sun’s core, not in its outer regions? The Sun’s outer regions do not have enough heat and pressure to carry on the thermonuclear fusion. If thermonuclear fusion in the Sun were suddenly to stop, what would eventually to happen to the overall radius of the Sun? Justify your answer using the ideas of hydrostatic equilibrium and thermal equilibrium. If thermonuclear fusion stops, the excess energy within the Sun’s core will expand the Sun, eventually leading to a possible explosion. Describe the dangers in attempting to observe the Sun. How have astronomers learned to circumvent these observational problems? If the Sun is observed without correct filter, it can cause permanent blindness to anyone. CH. 17
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This note was uploaded on 08/25/2008 for the course ASTRON 1 taught by Professor Jsepikas during the Winter '07 term at Pasadena City College.

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Oral Exam 3 - CH. 16 What is hydrogen fusion? Why is...

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