The last stage in the fusion of hydrogen to form helium in the Sun involves the formation of an...

Question:

The last stage in the fusion of hydrogen to form helium in the Sun involves the formation of an alpha particle (4He) from two 3He nuclei: 3He + 3He 4He + p + p

The binding energy for 3He is 2.57 MeV per nucleon and that for 4He is 7.07 MeV per nucleon.

Calculate the amount of energy released in this reaction.

Energy Conservation:

The total energy of any closed system, that is, the system, which is not affected by the external factors, is conserved, that is, remains constant in time. This fundamental principle works in classical and quantum physics alike, applicable to both chemical and nuclear reactions.

Answer and Explanation:

The total energy released is given by the following expression:

{eq}E = 4 \ nucleons \cdot 7.07 \ MeV/nucleon - (3 \ nucleons \cdot 2.57 \ MeV/nucleon + 3 \ nucleons \cdot 2.57 \ MeV/nucleon ) = 12.86 \ MeV {/eq}


Learn more about this topic:

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What is Energy Conservation? - Definition, Process & Examples

from ICSE Environmental Science: Study Guide & Syllabus

Chapter 1 / Lesson 6
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