# PowerPoint Presentation - The Sun as a Power House by yurtgc548

VIEWS: 2 PAGES: 38

• pg 1
```									Chapter 15:
The Sun: A
Nuclear
Powerhous
e

February 7, 2006   Astronomy 2010   1
Happy Sun

February 7, 2006     Astronomy 2010   2
Why Does the Sun Shine?
The Sun gives off energy (duh)!
The energy must come from somewhere -
there’s no free lunch.
Conservation of energy is a fundamental tenet of
physics.
Where does the energy come from?
Until the 20th century only 2 possibilities were
known:
Chemical reactions
Gravity

February 7, 2006        Astronomy 2010            3
The Sun’s Energy Output
How bright is the Sun?
The Sun produces 4x1026 watts
• Watt is the unit for the rate of
energy use, commonly seen on light
bulbs and appliances.
Our largest power plants produce
around 5 x 109 watts of power
(5,000 megawatts or 5
gigawatts)
Sun = 8 x 1016 of these power
plants (80,000 trillion)
Anyway you look at it, the Sun
gives off a lot of energy.
February 7, 2006           Astronomy 2010    4
Reactions?
What are chemical reactions?
Rearrange the atoms in molecules, as in 2H2 + O2
 2H2O + energy. This reaction combines
hydrogen and oxygen gas to produce water plus
energy.
Reverse the process: 2H2O + energy  2H2 + O2.
By adding energy we can dissociate water into
hydrogen and oxygen.
The energy factor is often left out of chemical
reaction formulas, for convenience.

February 7, 2006     Astronomy 2010              5
Reactions?
how long could its fuel last?
Only a few thousand years!
A process that uses fuel more efficiently is
needed - something that gets more energy out
of every kilogram of material.

February 7, 2006   Astronomy 2010          6
Gravity Squeeze?
Gravitational contraction: falling layers of the Sun's
material compress the Sun  heat energy
drop a book  noise! Gravitational potential energy.
A contraction of 40m per day would account for the Sun’s
energy output.
Efficiency ~ 1/10000 %
Gravity could power the Sun for about 100 million
years  but the Sun is at least 4 billion years old!
Gravity can't be the Sun's main energy source
But it did help ignite the Sun when it formed

February 7, 2006          Astronomy 2010                  7
15.2 Mass, Energy, and the Special
Theory of Relativity
To understand the way the Sun produces
energy, we need to learn a little about nuclear
physics and the special theory of relativity.
Nuclear physics deals with the structure of the
nuclei of atoms.
The special theory of relativity deals with the
behavior of things moving at close to the speed
of light.

February 7, 2006   Astronomy 2010           8
15.2.1 Converting Mass to Energy
Out of the special theory of relativity comes the
most famous equation in science:

This equation tells us that mass (m) is just
another form of energy (E)!
The c2 is the square of the speed of light.
1 gram of matter is equivalent to the energy
obtained by burning 15,000 barrels of oil.

February 7, 2006    Astronomy 2010             9
…but there are rules
We can’t simply convert atoms into energy.
We rearrange the protons and neutrons in
nuclei to get a lower-mass configuration.
The difference between initial mass and final
mass is converted to energy.
Chemical energy comes from rearranging atoms to
configurations of lower energy (mass).
Nuclear energy comes from rearranging nuclei to
configurations of lower mass (energy).
In each case, we get out the energy difference.

February 7, 2006          Astronomy 2010       10
February 7, 2006   Astronomy 2010   11
Elementary Particles (condensed)
Particle          Mass    Charge              5 particles play a
name            (MeV/c2)   (e)               fundamental role in
Proton           938.272    +1                the Sun.
Protons and neutrons
Neutron          939.565      0               make atomic nuclei
Electrons orbit nuclei
Electron             0.511   -1               of atoms
Photons are emitted
Neutrino             <10-6    0               by the Sun
Neutrinos are also
Photon                0       0               emitted

February 7, 2006           Astronomy 2010                     12
15.2.3 The Atomic Nucleus
Two ways to rearrange nuclei and get energy:
Fission
• produces energy by breaking up massive nuclei like
Uranium into less massive nuclei like Barium and Krypton
• A-bombs, nuclear reactors
• needs Uranium 235, Plutonium 238
• Problem: no Uranium or Plutonium on the Sun
Fusion
• produces energy by combining light nuclei like Hydrogen
to make more massive nuclei like Helium.
• H-bomb, tokamak, internal confinement fusion
• Sun has lots of Hydrogen!!

February 7, 2006          Astronomy 2010                   13
How Does Fusion Work?
Nuclear fusion:
a process by which two light nuclei combine to form a single
larger nucleus.
However: nuclei are positively charged
Like charges repel
Two nuclei naturally repel each other and thus cannot fuse
spontaneously
For fusion, electrical repulsion must be “overcome”
When two nuclei are very close the strong nuclear
force takes over and holds them together.
How do two nuclei get close enough?

February 7, 2006         Astronomy 2010                    14
Fusion needs fast moving nuclei
Fast moving nuclei can
overcome the repulsion -
Low speed
they get a running start.
Lots of fast moving
nuclei means high
temperature.
The core of the Sun has
a temperature of 15
High speed
million degrees Kelvin.
(ouch!)

February 7, 2006     Astronomy 2010       15
Fusion Power on Earth
Fusion is the source of
energy for hydrogen
bombs.
We are trying to harness
fusion to generate
electricity:
tokamak - magnetic
confinement machine as
envisioned for ITER
shown to the right
inertial confinement fusion
- Lawrence Livermore
National Lab
ITER reactor
February 7, 2006          Astronomy 2010                  16
Fusion Powers the Sun
Temperatures in the cores of stars are above
the approximately 8 million K needed to fuse
hydrogen nuclei together.
Calculations: observed power output of the
Sun consistent with fusion of hydrogen nuclei.
Observation: neutrinos from Sun produced by
fusion reactions.
Hypothesis: all stars produce energy by
nuclear fusion.

February 7, 2006     Astronomy 2010         17
1. fuse two hydrogen, H (1
proton-proton chain                                proton) to make
deuterium, 2H (1 proton,
1 neutron), neutrino
and positron
2. fuse one deuterium and
one hydrogen to make
helium-3 3He (1 proton,
2 neutrons), gamma ray
(energetic photon)
3. fuse two helium-3 to
make helium 4He plus
two hydrogen
H  H 2H  e 

2
H  H 3He              3
He3He4He  H  H
February 7, 2006              Astronomy 2010                          18
Why a complicated chain?
Fusion would be simpler if four protons would collide
simultaneously to make one helium nucleus
Simpler, but less likely
rare for four objects to collide simultaneously with high
enough energy
chance of this happening are very, very small
rate too slow to power the Sun
proton-proton chain: each step involves collision of two
particles
chance of two particles colliding and fusing is much higher,
so nature slowly builds up the helium nucleus.

February 7, 2006          Astronomy 2010                    19
Fusion and Solar Structure
fusion only in
Sun's core
only place its
hot enough
heat from
fusion
determines
Sun's
structure

February 7, 2006   Astronomy 2010             20
Heat from Core determines Sun's Size
Force equilibrium
Hydrostatic equilibrium: balance between
thermal pressure from the hot core pushing
outwards
gravity squeezes the star collapse to the very
center
Nuclear fusion rate is very sensitive to
temperature.
A slight increase/decrease in T causes
fusion rate to increase/decrease by a
large amount.

February 7, 2006    Astronomy 2010           21
Gravity and Pressure                             pressure
from
force equilibrium                                table
Newton's second law: F = ma
static equilibrium: no acceleration if
forces on object balance
gravity tries to pull 1/4 pounder to
center of the Earth
pressure from table opposes gravity           weight
from
hydrostatic equilibrium on Sun                   gravity
"cloud of gas" (like 1/4 pounder)
gravity pulls cloud to the center
pressure
pressure from gas below opposes
from hot
gravity
gas
heat from fusion in the hot core
increases pressure                        cloud
energy output controls size of sun!
weight
from
gravity
February 7, 2006            Astronomy 2010               22
Temperature and Pressure
temperature: random
motion of atoms in a
gas
pressure: amount of
force per unit area on
piston from gas
generally pressure
increases with
increasing temperature

February 7, 2006   Astronomy 2010   23
Balancing Fusion, Gravity and
Pressure
If the rate of fusion increases, then:
1. thermal pressure increases causing the star to expand.
2. star expands to a new point where gravity would balance the
thermal pressure.
3. the expansion would reduce compression of the core
4. the temperature in the core would drop
5. the nuclear fusion rate would subsequently slow down
6. the thermal pressure would then drop
7. the star would shrink
8. the temperature would rise again and the nuclear fusion rate
would increase
9. Stability would be re-established between the nuclear reaction
rates and the gravity compression

February 7, 2006         Astronomy 2010                     24
Hydrostatic Equilibrium

balance between pressure, heat from fusion and gravity
determines Sun's size
big stars have cooler cores, small stars have hotter cores –
more compressed
February 7, 2006          Astronomy 2010                   25
Other Particles
Helium is not the only product in the
fusion of hydrogen.
Two other particles produced
Positron
Neutrino

February 7, 2006        Astronomy 2010   26
Gamma Ray Propagation in the Sun
Positrons quickly annihilate with electrons.
Photons produced in core of the Sun take
about a million years to move to the surface.
Slow migration because they scatter off the
dense gas particles
move about only a centimeter between collisions.
In each collision, they transfer some of their energy
to the gas particles.
As they reach the photosphere, gamma rays
have become visible photons.

February 7, 2006       Astronomy 2010               27
Neutrinos
Nearly massless particles with no charge.
Rarely interact with ordinary matter.
Neutrinos travel extremely fast
Almost at the speed of light if small mass.
Neutrinos pass from the core of the Sun
to the surface in only two seconds.
They take less than 8.5 minutes to travel
the distance from the Sun to the Earth.

February 7, 2006     Astronomy 2010              28
Neutrino Counting
In principle:
Use neutrino count at Earth as indicator of
the Sun’s energy output
The problem:
Neutrinos have a very low probability of
interacting with matter.
Could pass through a light year of lead and
not be stopped by any of the lead atoms!

February 7, 2006         Astronomy 2010      29
Neutrino Abundance
The Sun produces A LOT of neutrinos.
In one second several million billion
Do you feel them?
Not to worry!
• The neutrinos do not damage anything.
• The great majority of neutrinos pass right
through the entire Earth as if it wasn’t there.

February 7, 2006         Astronomy 2010                   30
Detecting Neutrinos
Increase the odds of detecting neutrinos by
using a LARGE amount of a material that
reacts with neutrinos in a measurable way.
A chlorine isotope changes to a radioactive isotope
of argon when hit by a neutrino.
A gallium isotope changes to a radioactive isotope
of germanium.
Neutrinos can interact with protons and neutrons
and produce an electron. The electron can be
detected.

February 7, 2006          Astronomy 2010           31
Neutrino Detectors
Ray Davis
Neutrino detectors use hundreds
of thousands of liters of these
materials in a container buried
under many tens of meters of
rock to shield the detectors from
other energetic particles from          Nobel Prize in 2003
space called cosmic rays.
Even the largest detectors detect
only a few neutrinos per day.

Kamiokande

February 7, 2006      Astronomy 2010                    32
Solar Neutrino Production
Number of neutrinos produced in the Sun
is directly proportional to the number of
nuclear reactions taking place in the
Sun's core.
Same principle with neutrinos produced
via the Carbon-Nitrogen-Oxygen chain.
The more reactions there are, the more
neutrinos are produced and the more
that should be detected here on the
Earth.

February 7, 2006   Astronomy 2010     33
Solar Neutrino Production (cont’d)
Physicists find that the number of neutrinos
coming from the Sun is smaller than expected.
Early experiments detected only 1/3 of the
expected number of neutrinos.
These experiments used hundreds of
thousands of liters of cleaning fluid (composed
of chlorine compounds) or very pure water.

February 7, 2006   Astronomy 2010           34
Solar Neutrino Production (cont’d)
Later experiments using many tons of gallium
were able to detect the more abundant low-
energy neutrinos.
However, those experiments also found the
same problem: too few neutrinos (the gallium
experiments found about 2/3 the expected
number).
The puzzling lack of neutrinos from the Sun is
called the solar neutrino problem.

February 7, 2006   Astronomy 2010           35
Possible Explanations:
Nuclear fusion is not the Sun's power source.
Not supported by observations, not likely to be the correct
reason.
The experiments were not calibrated correctly.
Unlikely that all carefully-tuned experiments were tuned in
the same wrong way. Experiments independently verified
by many other scientists; astronomers think that the results
are correct.
The nuclear reaction rate in the Sun is lower than
what our calculations say.
Possible but many people have checked and re-checked
the physics of the reaction rates.
Strong constraints in how much one can lower the
temperature in the core of the Sun to slow down the
reactions.
February 7, 2006           Astronomy 2010                    36
Solar Neutrino Solution
Three types of neutrinos exist.
The Sun produces only one type, called
electron neutrinos
The experiments detect only electron-type.
On their way from the Sun, neutrinos can
transform from one type to another  we only
detect 1/3 of the mix at Earth.
This also implies that neutrinos have mass,
very small, but not zero.

February 7, 2006     Astronomy 2010       37
Neutrino Oscillations
The Sun produces only
e neutrinos (green).
This becomes one of the
types 1, 2, or 3 on its
way to Earth.
QuickTime™ and a
TIFF (LZW) decompressor
are needed to see this picture.
These 3 mix on their way
to Earth.
When we look at the
neutrinos on Earth, some
of the original green is
now blue or yellow.

February 7, 2006                            Astronomy 2010                  38

```
To top