Reconciling Big Bang and Stellar Nucleosynthesis
By Peter P. Eggleton , David S.P Dearborn, john C. Lattanizo
The theory that the universe began in a state of extremely high density and has been expanding since some particular instant that marked the origin of the universe. The big bang is the generally accepted cosmological theory; the incorporation of developments in elementary particle theory has led to the inflationary universe version. The predictions of the inflationary universe and older big bang theories are the same after the first 10?35 s. See also Inflationary universe cosmology.
Two observations are at the base of observational big bang cosmology. First, the universe is expanding uniformly, with objects at greater distances receding at a greater velocity. Second, the Earth is bathed in the cosmic background radiation, an isotropic glow of radiation that has the characteristics expected from the remnant of a hot primeval fireball.
The proton-proton chain reaction is one of two fusion reactions by which stars convert hydrogen to helium, the other being the CNO cycle. The proton-proton chain dominates in stars the size of the Sun or less.
To overcome the electromagnetic repulsion between two hydrogen nuclei requires a large amount of energy, and this reaction takes an average of 109 years to complete at the temperature of the Sun's core. Because of the slowness of this reaction the Sun is still shining; if it were faster, the Sun would have exhausted its hydrogen long ago.
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