One Type of Fusion Accounts For Nearly All Of Sun’s Power, Detector Finds
by Michael Keller
The cool instrument above is what you get to work with if you are on the hunt for neutrinos, the tiny subatomic particles with barely any mass that rarely interact with other matter. Theses pictures all show the Borexino Collaboration particle physics experiment, which is designed to detect a type of neutrino predicted to fly out of the sun due to nuclear fusion of proton atoms at its core.
The group announced today that their instrument, which is buried nearly 3,200 feet under a mountain to minimize interference from other particles, has detected the so-called pp neutrino. This variety of particle is the result of energy-generating nuclear reactions caused by the fusing of two protons. The team’s results indicate that 99 percent of the sun’s power comes from this type of fusion at its core.