Elements of Life

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  • Created by: Jadii
  • Created on: 21-11-13 10:07

  Fusion - when lighter nuclei are fused together to form heavier nuclei.

  Atomic numbers and mass numbers must balance in a nuclear equation.

  Hydrogen is the most common element in the Universe. Humans contain quite a lot of hydrogen, along with other heavier elements as well.

  Forcing together positive nuclei of atoms of light elements to create a heavier nucleus requires extreme conditions of temperature and gravitational pressures, like those experienced on the Sun. If conditions could be controlled on Earth, it could be a good energy source as it releases a lot of energy with no emissions. All stars turn hydrogen into helium by nuclear fusion. This process occurs fastest in the heaviest stars because their centres are the hottest and the most compressed.

  These heavyweight stars have very dramatic lives. The temperatures and pressures at the centre of the star are so great that more and more fusion reactions occur; producing elements heavier than helium. Layers of elements form within the star; the heaviest near the centre where it is hottest. Here, more advanced fusion can take place.

  The element at the centre of the core is iron. When iron nuclei are…

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