carbon cycle

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A series of nuclear reactions in which four hydrogen nuclei combine to form a helium nucleus with the liberation of energy, two positrons, and two neutrinos. The process is believed to be the source of energy in many stars and to take place in six stages. In this series carbon–12 acts as if it were a catalyst, being reformed at the end of the series: 612C + 11H → 713N +γ 713N → 613C +e++νe 613C + 11H → 714N +γ 714N + 11H → 815O +γ 815O → 715N +e++νe 715N + 11H → 612C+ 24HeSee stellar evolution.

Subjects: Physics — Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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