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Educational Applets

(You can download Flash player here if you need.)

The Proton-Proton or PP chain is the most important energy production mechanism for normal stars having masses comparable to the Sun or less.
Click to view the flash movie below:

The proton-proton chain movie

There is another sequence of reactions that becomes more favorable for converting hydrogen to helium that is called the CNO cycle, which stands for the carbon-nitrogen-oxygen cycle.
Click to view the flash movie below:

The CNO cycle movie

A few of the excited carbon nuclei emit a gamma ray quickly enough to become stable before they disintegrate. This is called the triple-alpha process
Click to view the flash movie below:

The triple-alpha process movie

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