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Homework Help: Fusion burn propagation

  1. May 5, 2014 #1
    I am trying to determine whether a burn would propagate faster through hydrogen or helium.

    My initial guess is helium due to the higher mass. I also think this is true in stars. Anyone have an idea on burn propagation and how different masses of material would affect it?

    Is my first thought correct?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 6, 2014 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    What do you mean with propagate? Do you have some cold (well, relatively cold), dense material that gets ignited at some point? If yes, what are the conditions of this cold, dense material?
    What is the isotopic composition of your hydrogen and helium?
    Why? And why did you neglect the fact that the fusion reactions and their cross-sections are completely different?
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