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Is the sun positively charged?

  1. Jan 29, 2016 #1
    Hydrogen fusion as described by proton-proton chain reaction that dominates in the sun produces two positrons for each helium nucleus produced. These annihilate with free electrons while the number of protons remain the same. Over time the sun is supposed to become positively charged, yet the claim is that its charge is neutral.

    What is the mechanism for maintaining the proton to electron ratio in the sun?
    Thanks!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 29, 2016 #2

    Bystander

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    Two positrons: two electrons. What's your question?
     
  4. Jan 29, 2016 #3

    Ken G

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    This is the source of your problem-- the number of protons does not stay the same. The net result is 4 protons turn into 2 protons and 2 neutrons in the helium nucleus. The loss in protons matches the annihilation of electrons.
     
  5. Jan 29, 2016 #4
    The end result of the reaction is a helium nucleus which contains two neutrons as well as the two protons.
    In simplistic terms those neutrons could be considered as protons which lost their positive charge during the fusion process.
    So overall no net change of charge has occurred within the Sun.
     
  6. Jan 29, 2016 #5
    Thanks, that was embarrassing. I was researching something that touched this topic and must have been so distracted I counted wrong.
     
  7. Jan 29, 2016 #6

    davenn

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    hey, it happens to all of us from time to time

    and welcome to the Physics Forums :smile:


    cheers
    Dave
     
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