April 23, 2012

It's tough being the Sun!

Posted by Samson David (View Profile | View All Posts) at 6:05 AM

A Physics project

My 14-year-old girl came to me and asked me to help her with her Physics project. It was called "It's tough being the Sun". As I started getting into it, I explained to her that there are two fundamental forces at work within the Sun. The Hydrogen atoms are undergoing nuclear fusion and converting into Helium and releasing a lot of energy in the process - almost as if billions of hydrogen bombs are blasting - every second. This generates a huge expansive pressure which could blow the sun's core away. But, for the other force - the force of gravity! It binds everything together and exerts a compressive force and balances the expansive force. So these two forces are at it continuously and - the balance between the two is what keeps the Sun going! And that's good for us earthlings - the "consumers" of the light and heat that the sun provides us with - which is paramount for our survival.

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