Energy production in stars.

  title={Energy production in stars.},
  author={Hans Albrecht Bethe},
  volume={161 3841},
It is shown that the most important source of energy in ordinary stars is the reactions of carbon and nitrogen with protons. These reactions form a cycle in which the original nucleus is reproduced, viz. C12+H=N13, N13=C13+e+, C13+H=N14, N14+H=O15, O15=N15+e+, N15+H=C12 +He4. Thus carbon and nitrogen merely serve as catalysts for the combination of four protons (and two electrons) into an α-particle (§7). The carbon-nitrogen reactions are unique in their cyclical character (§8). For all nuclei… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

CNO hydrogen burning studied deep underground
Abstract.In stars, four hydrogen nuclei are converted into a helium nucleus in two competing nuclear fusion processes, namely the proton-proton chain (p-p chain) and the carbon-nitrogen-oxygen (CNO)
Thermonuclear Processes in Stars and Stellar Neutrinos
In the 1920s Eddington formulated the hypothesis that fusion reactions between light elements are the energy source of the stars — a proposition that may be considered as the birth of the field of
The History and Impact of the CNO Cycles in Nuclear Astrophysics
The carbon cycle, or Bethe-Weizsäcker cycle, plays an important role in astrophysics as one of the most important energy sources for quiescent and explosive hydrogen burning in stars. This paper
The triple-α process and the origin of the elements
The triple-α process is the nuclear fusion of helium to carbon. Two 4He nuclei collide and form an unstable state of 8Be. Before this can decay back a third α-particle collides with it to form a 12C
The origin and abundances of the chemical elements revisited
SummaryThe basic scheme of nucleosynthesis (building of heavy elements from light ones) has held up very well since it was first proposed more than 30 years ago by E.M. Burbidge, G.R. Burbidge,
A Solar Motion Model Able to Associate with and Explain Several Solar Problems
In order to explain several basic solar problems, such as the origin of solar wind, the causes of solar flares, and causes of the sunspot cycle, etc., this paper presents a new solar motion model
Experimental evidence of neutrinos produced in the CNO fusion cycle in the Sun.
This work provides experimental evidence of the primary mechanism for the stellar conversion of hydrogen into helium in the Universe, and paves the way towards a direct measurement of the solar metallicity using CNO neutrinos.
Evolution of Degenerate Oxygen-Neon Cores
Mass-accreting electron-degenerate stellar cores that are composed primarily of the carbon-burning ashes 16-O and 20-Ne (ONe cores) appear in several astrophysical scenarios. On the one hand, they
Isotopic Ratios: The Key to Elemental Abundances and Nuclear Reactions in the Sun
Differences between the abundances of isotopes of elements in the planetary system, in the solar wind, and in solar flares suggest that a) the most abundant nuclear species in the sun is 56Fe (the
The origin of the elements: a century of progress
The accumulated evidence in this review shows that the major production sites for the elements are understood, but islands of uncertainty in the periodic table exist and resolving these uncertainties requires in particular understanding explosive events with compact objects and understanding the nature of the first stars.