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Super Novas Create Heavy Elements: Does this absorb or release energy?

  1. Sep 6, 2011 #1
    A massive star collapses when it begins to create iron in the normal fusion sequence. Iron absorbs energy. The collapse then produces all the heavier elements. When the heavier elements are created is energy absorbed or released?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 6, 2011 #2

    mathman

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    Extra energy is needed to create the extra mass. It comes from the kinetic energy of the particles going into the reaction.
     
  4. Sep 6, 2011 #3
    Mathman

    Bingo!
     
  5. Sep 9, 2011 #4
    Agreed. The compression of gravity does all the work as heavier elements absorb the energy before being blasted out.
     
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