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composed of one proton and Fusion

Fusion


For centuries, humankind has looked at the stars, and for just as many years
humankind has tried to explain the existence of those very same stars.  Were
they holes in an enormous canvas that covered the earth?  Were they fire-flies
that could only be seen when the Apollo had parked his chariot for the night?
There seemed to be as many explanations for the stars as there were stars
themselves.  Then one day an individual named Galileo Galilei made an astounding
discovery: the stars were replicas of our own sun, only so far away that they
seemed as large as pin pricks to the naked eye.  This in turn gave rise to many
more questions. What keeps the stars burning?  Have they always been glowing, or
are they born like humans, and thus will they die?  The answers to all these
questions can be summed up in two words; stellar fusion. Therefore one can begin
to understand the stars by understanding what fusion is, how it affects the life
of a star, and what happens to a star when fusion can no longer occur. The first
question one must ask is, "What is fusion?"  One simple way of explaining it is
taking two balls of clay and mashing them into one, creating a new, larger
particle from the two.  Now replace those balls of clay with sub-atomic
particles, and when they meld, release an enormous amount of energy.  This is
fusion.  There is currently three known variations of fusion: the proton-proton
reaction (Figure 1.1), the carbon cycle (Figure 1.2), and the triple-alpha
process (Figure 1.3).  In the proton-proton reaction, a proton (the positively
charged nucleus of a hydrogen atom) is forced so close to another proton (within
a tenth of a trillionth of an inch) that a short range nuclear force known as
the strong force takes over and forces the two protons to bond together (1). One
proton then decays into a neutron (a particle with the same mass as a proton,
but with no charge), a positron (a positively charged particle with almost no
mass), and a neutrino (a particle with almost no mass, and no charge).  The
neutrino and positron then radiate off, releasing heat energy.  The remaining
particle is known as a deuteron, or the nucleus of the hydrogen isotope
deuterium.  This deuteron is then fused with another proton, creating a helium
isotope (2).  Then two helium isotopes fuse, creating a helium nucleus and
releasing two protons, which facilitate the chain reaction (3).  This final
split is so violent that one-half of the total fusion energy is carried away by
the two free protons.  The second fusion variation, the carbon cycle, starts
with a carbon nucleus being fused with a lone proton (1).  This creates a
nitrogen isotope.  One proton then decays into it's primaries -- a neutron,
positron and neutrino.  The positron and neutrino separate from the nuclei as
another proton fuses with the cluster. This creates a nitrogen nucleus which is
then fused with yet another proton, forming an oxygen isotope (2).  One proton
then decays again as still another proton is forced into the nucleus (3).  This
final fusion splits into a nitrogen and a carbon nucleus; the nitrogen carries
away the majority of the fusion heat, while the carbon goes back into the cycle.
The triple-alpha process, the last known variety, is perhaps one of the simplest
fusion reactions to understand.  In this process, two helium nuclei fuse
together to form a beryllium nucleus (four protons and four neutrons) (1).
Almost immediately after this, another helium nucleus is forced into the cluster,
creating a carbon nucleus of six protons and six neutrons (2).  In this reaction,
all of the heat given off is short-wavelength gamma rays, one of the most
penetrating forms of radiation.  Each variety of fusion occurs depending on the
size and age of the star. This will affect core temperature, causing the
corresponding variety of stellar fusion. Now that fusion has been explained,
one can learn how it occurs in the different star types.  All stellar bodies
start off as protostars, or concentrations of combusting gases found within
large clouds of dust and various gases.  These protostars, under their own
gravity, collapse inward until its core has been heated and compressed enough
to begin proton-proton fusion reactions.  After that starts, a stars mass will
determine how long and through what kind of reactions it will go through.
Generally, there are three classes of stars which can form: dwarfs, sun-class
stars, and giants.  Dwarfs begin as protostars of ... more

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Your Chemical World

Your Chemical World
In todays world we rely on many different facets to achieve what we normally dont even give a second thought. As I am sitting here typing this paper I am simultaneously using the culmination of numerous chemical breakthroughs. The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a group of over 150,000 chemists, both academic and industrial. Your Chemical World, a book that the ACS has published, is a biography of sorts, where in the uses and need for a chemical world are shown in an easy-to-understand way. Although chemistry would seem to be just a recently invented and used scientific field, chemistry has been an integral part of our lives for a long time. Our early ancestors, unable to even write, figured out that certain substances could be used for painting, hence the archaic cave paintings found in Southern Europe. Today we use chemistry to build our houses, to drive to work everyday, even toasting your toast in the morning. Because chemistry is our link to the hidden world of the earths terrestrial fruits like Silicon or Iron our hands will be forever bound to chemistry.
The book starts off with our beginning and the unlikely usage of chemistry in pre-historic times. Our ancestors were more then likely concerned primarily with staying alive. Certain things are needed to do that, like food, shelter, energy, and drink. Once those needs were meet our Neanderthal brethren made some archaicaly beautiful cave paintings. In doing so they applied chemistry in a whole new way, to benefit their lives. In time chemistry became an integral part of society, today we have used it to stretch our lives out by more then forty percent of what it would have been in the start of the century by the use of medicine. Later on in recordable history chemistry was implemented through rusty trial and error methods which allowed many things to be created such as Bronze in 3600 BC or glass in 2500 BC. But it wasnt until the age of Greek philosophers that the question of these materials components, or made them exist. After many theories by many different people a man named Leucippus came up with the idea that all things were made up of indivisible, small particles. Although we now know that that was the correct theory the age of alchemy started and didnt slow down until after medieval times. The next remarkable step was taken by Robert Boyle a British chemist who defined and coined the term elements as pure substance, which resists all ordinary attempts at decomposition. His assistant Robert Hooke also made some profound movements; he invented the first compound microscope. Using it he also was able to look at and theorize the idea of cells. Although Boyle did define elements the credit of being the father of chemistry is given to Dmitri Mendeleev, who not only formulated the periodic law but also created the periodic table of elements. Sir Joesph John Thomson then proposed the idea of protons in atoms, followed by Sir Ernest Rutherfords Nuclear theory with an atom proton. Eventually all the elements that we have today were discovered and put into place on the periodic table giving us todays modern chemistry. In the beginning of this century a very small enterprising community had begun commercial chemical operations. The chemical world slowly picked up speed and eventually blossomed into what it is today.
The book then begins to relate all this documented history to our own world. By showing the uses of the chemistry industry in products we rely on every day it is clearly showed the importance of it. In every aspect of your house we can find evidence of chemistry. In the Vinyl siding to the roof shingles to the power that runs the very computer that I am writing this on. If peel back the skin further we can see that in every room there is also blatant hints toward chemistrys uses in our house. In the kitchen we keep we see it in our refrigerator, in the family room the TV we religiously watch. In the Bathroom we can see it by staring in to the toilet, yes the toilet, just picture the miles ... more

composed of one proton and

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