Sun is the star present in the center of our solar system. It has formed the main source of energy for life on our planet earth. Researchers have finally understood the Sun’s nuclear fusion for the first time. The study has been published in the journal nature.
With the help of this, we will now be able to find out how the stars which form the main component of the universe forms the crucial aspect composing all the planet and everyone present all over the universe. The last missing part of the study about nuclear fusion has been resolved by the researchers by capturing neutrinos from the sun’s core.
How does the nuclear fusion process occur?
Old theoretical assumption says that few amounts of the sun’s energy are produced by the chain of reactions engaging carbon and nitrogen nuclei. The process joins four protons to make a helium nucleus, releasing two neutrinos and other subatomic particles and large amounts of energy. Sun’s fusion pathway does not involve only this carbon-nitrogen (CN) reaction. In the production of Sun’s energy, its engagement is less than 1%. In the large stars, it is thought to be the most powerful source. The conclusion produced the first direct detection of neutrinos from this process.
The results of this research were disclosed on 23rd June by Borexino underground experiment in central Italy, at the virtual Neutrino 2020 conference. The results have not yet been reviewed. Gioacchino Ranucci, who presented the results said “With this outcome, Borexino has completely unraveled the two processes powering the Sun.”
Although the conclusion is a great achievement for Borexino, it is still collecting data and will be closed soon.
The most important part of the study is that it has helped us to confirm that our star implements a process known as the carbon-nitrogen-oxygen (CNO) fusion cycle. It is a method that involves heavier elements than what is expected from the size of the star-like sun. The CNO cycle has been hypothesized since 1930, but the existence of the CNO cycle has now been confirmed. The other co-spokesperson of the research Marco Pallavicini said “We ended with a bang.”
At the time of nuclear fusion in the sun’s core, a colossal Borexino detector searched for neutrinos fired in space. Neutrinos are hard to analyze as they cross through most of the matter without any interactions. This is what makes them more appealing as they supply a source of data for nuclear reactions at an enormous distance.
The universe is vast and in all of that huge space exist trillions of stars. A tiny facility present in Italy identified sufficient neutrinos from the sun which has disclosed the hidden source of power in all the stars. This kind of power generation will one day strap us for our energy requirement.
Source – nature