Fusion of Elements
Chapter 6 The Abundance of Nuclei
Chapter 6 describes the mechanism by which nuclei can be fused within stars. The structure of nucleons and nuclei under this model allows this to occur. It cannot occur under the standard models of nucleons or any model of nuclei. Figure 6.6 shows the results of the calculations based upon the different equations that apply for different circumstances. Other equations could be used to account for some significant differences not considered in the averaging method used.
Overall it is considered the trend for even Z nuclei is reasonable. The major differences are Fe, Ni, Pb, Th and U. Fe and Ni are considered to be high because of Fe is the nucleus with the highest binding energy per nucleon. Th and U are low because they are radioactive and decay to Pb, making it higher. Te, Xe and Ba are higher because they are products from the fission of 235U. Their equivalents around Sr are not higher because they are more abundant by a factor of ≈ 10 and a small increase would not be noticed.
Odd Z nuclei are always lower than their even Z counterparts, Be excluded, because it takes less protons to fuse the next even Z nucleus and for other reasons given in the text. There are a few notable exceptions that need greater refinement of the model. It is important to note that the low values of Li, Be and B, as well as the barriers at A = 5 and 8, do not pose any problem to the fusion of heavier elements in stars under this model.
There is considerable scope for refining the calculations to get a better match. Even in its present form, there are significant lessons to learn about how fusion occurs. There is no “quantum tunneling” required for fusion to occur.
Figure 6.6 The abundances of all elements based upon the calculations indicated. The results are superimposed upon the measured solar abundance curve.