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Title: Nuclear and gravitational energies in stars

The force that governs the evolution of stars is gravity. Indeed this force drives star formation, imposes thermal and density gradients into stars at hydrostatic equilibrium and finally plays the key role in the last phases of their evolution. Nuclear power in stars governs their lifetimes and of course the stellar nucleosynthesis. The nuclear reactions are at the heart of the changes of composition of the baryonic matter in the Universe. This change of composition, in its turn, has profound consequences on the evolution of stars and galaxies. The energy extracted from the gravitational, respectively nuclear reservoirs during the lifetimes of stars of different masses are estimated. It is shown that low and intermediate mass stars (M < 8 M{sub ⊙}) extract roughly 90 times more energy from their nuclear reservoir than from their gravitational one, while massive stars (M > 8 M{sub ⊙}), which explode in a supernova explosion, extract more than 5 times more energy from the gravitational reservoir than from the nuclear one. We conclude by discussing a few important nuclear reactions and their link to topical astrophysical questions.
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Astronomical Observatory of Geneva University (Switzerland)
  2. ISDC, Astronomical Observatory of Geneva University (Switzerland)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22280409
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: AIP Conference Proceedings; Journal Volume: 1595; Journal Issue: 1; Conference: 7. European summer school on experimental nuclear astrophysics, Santa Tecla, Sicily (Italy), 15-17 Sep 2013; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ASTROPHYSICS; BARYONS; DENSITY; GALAXIES; GRAVITATION; LIFETIME; NUCLEAR REACTIONS; NUCLEOSYNTHESIS; STAR EVOLUTION; STARS; UNIVERSE