Monthly Archives: February 2015

How does the Sun shine? (Part 4: The Solar Neutrino Problem)

This post is based on my last two posts explaining the proton-proton chain and the neutrino hypothesis and discovery. As explained in the proton-proton chain post, solar neutrinos which are also electron neutrinos, provide the only direct experimental evidence of … Continue reading

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Five years in space for NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory

In honor of Solar Dynamics Observatory’s (SDO) 5th anniversary, NASA has released a video showcasing highlights from the last five years of sun watching. Watch the movie to see giant clouds of solar material hurled out into space, the dance … Continue reading

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Neutrinos (Part 1: Hypothesis and Discovery)

1. Wolfgang Pauli’s hypothesis Before explaining how Pauli’s came to state his famous hypothesis, let’s do a quick recap on notation and beta decays. The notation we will use is the following: the decay of a parent nucleus, P, to … Continue reading

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The Gamow Window

Stars are composed of hot gases in which the atoms and molecules are almost completely ionized in the interior (the state of matter called a plasma). The question of whether fusion reactions can occur in this plasma is primarily one … Continue reading

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