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Fusion in the Sun

  1. Dec 9, 2009 #1
    The radiation flux from the sun at the top of the earth's atmosphere is 0.139 J cm-2 s-1 at normal incidence. The earth is 1.50x108 km from the sun. Calculate:
    (a) the energy production in the sun in MeV/s
    (b) the rate of hydrogen consumption in g/s
    (c) how long hydrogen-burning can continue in the sun under the assumption that energy production continues at the present rate and that hydrogen burning will cease when 10% of the total hydrogen mass has been used up.
    The mass of the sun is 2.0x1033g.

    I have determined that the energy production in the sun is 2.5e39 MeV/s by converting the flux to MeV/cm^2*s and multiplying that by the area of the sphere produced by the radiation with r=1.50x108 km. However, I'm not sure how to calculate b & c. I was thinking it may have to do with the pp1 chain?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 9, 2009 #2


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    For b, and c you need to know how much energy is emitted in each fusion event and how much hydrogen is consumed
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