Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Fusion and quantum tunneling

  1. Apr 10, 2013 #1
    Hello fellow scientists,
    Do all stars rely on quantum tunneling for fusion or do high mass stars break the Coulomb barrier without tunneling? Thanks
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 10, 2013 #2
    all stars depend on Tunneling to start Nuclear fusion. I have not come across any star in my course where we talked about breaking the coulomb barrier
  4. Apr 11, 2013 #3

    Simon Bridge

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    You can probably answer your own question.
    What is it that gives rise to the coulomb barrier?

    In high mass stars, the core density is very high - what does that do to the mean separation of nuclei?
    What does than mean for the size of the coulomb barrier?

    How dense would the core need to be for the mean separation to be within the range of the strong nuclear force?
    How massive would a star have to be to get that dense?
    Are there any fusing stars that massive?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook