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March 29, 2005



Another day for me when something I thought I understood no longer makes sense :)

If the sun temperatures are as you showed, in normal units that comes down to about 1keV - 2keV. But then one'd have problems with the nuclear reactions at those temperatures (the protons are not energetic enough to breach the coulomb barrier). Hence I always expected temperatures in the sun to be of the order of 1MeV.

If I'm being obtuse, I'd appreciate enlightenment.



Give it some commonsense thought. If the core of the sun reaches the temperature equivalent of 1MeV, it will be too easy for thermal nuclear fusion to happen. And more thermal nuclear fusion creates more heat and higher temperature and all that. The result is instantaneous explosion that some would call supernovae.

The fact is the sun has been nurning for billions of years and hardly a fraction of its hydrogen has been burned yet. So the thermal nuclear reaction on the sun is indeed a very slow process, with very small chance for protons to fuse.

Have a look on my blog some time.


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