Why Stars Use a Complicated Chain Reaction

Why Stars Use a - Why Stars Use a Complicated Chain Reaction The fusion process in stars is a little more complicated than what was described above

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Why Stars Use a Complicated Chain Reaction The fusion process in stars is a little more complicated than what was described above. Rather than creating the helium nucleus in a single reaction, nature uses a series of reactions to build up the helium nucleus step-by-step. In most stars a three-step chain reaction is used called the ``proton-proton chain''. It is described in the animation below. Massive stars also use a reaction that uses carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen nuclei in a chain process, called the Carbon-Nitrogen- Oxygen chain, with several more steps. Regardless of the chain process used, the net result of the fusion process is to fuse four hydrogen nuclei (protons) to create one helium nucleus (2 protons + 2 neutrons) plus some energy. Three step nuclear reaction chain. Selecting the image will bring up a single frame that summarizes the chain reaction in another window. Why does nature use a long complicated chain reaction process to fuse four protons into one helium nucleus? Would it not be much simpler if four protons would collide simultaneously to
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This note was uploaded on 12/15/2011 for the course AST AST1002 taught by Professor Emilyhoward during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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Why Stars Use a - Why Stars Use a Complicated Chain Reaction The fusion process in stars is a little more complicated than what was described above

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