Sun is the ultimate energy source, the energy it creates in one billionth of a second is still more than that created by burning earth's complete coal reserves. Have you ever wondered how does it create all that energy, and how does it transfer it from its core to the surface located half a million kiometer away. This educational science animation shows you everything.
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This educational science animation has been prepared keeping the curiosity of the audience, an effort has been made to cover the Sun's source of energy and the complete mechanism of transfer of energy from the core to the surface, the box-open notes at various places inside the animation provide crucial details.
Nuclear fusion reaction - source of solar power:
Hydrogen nuclei (protons) fuse to create helium-4 and release energy in several stages:
1. Two protons combine to form a deuterium (hydrogen atom with one neutron), a positron (similar to electron, but with a positive charge) and a neutrino
2. A proton and a deuterium atom combine to form a helium-3 atom (two protons with one neutron) and a gamma ray.
3. Two helium-3 atoms combine to form a helium-4 (two protons and two neutrons) and two protons.
Now, the helium-4 atoms are less massive than the two hydrogen atoms that started the process. The difference in mass was converted to energy given by Einstein's theory of relativity (E=mc2).
The high-energy gamma ray photons produced at the core is then transported to the space by the process of radiative diffusion and convection and then again by radiation.
During the energy transport mechanisms, the entire gamma rays in the core are converted into visible, ultraviolet light, X-rays, visible light, infrared, microwaves and radio photons producing a continuous (thermal) spectrum.
Thus it is this energy produced by the nuclear fusion at the sun's core that strikes the earth, provides warmth to the planet and drives our weather and provides energy for life.
Since Sun has got a vast amount of hydrogen element, it will continue to produce energy for next billion numbers of years and is therefore an inexhaustible source of energy for us.