The Enigma of Solar Energy: From Gravity over Radioactivity to Nuclear Processes


  • Datum: 20.10.2017
  • Uhrzeit: 10:30 - 12:00
  • Vortragende(r): Prof. Helge Kragh
  • Department of Mathematics - Science Studies, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Ort: IPP Greifswald und Garching
  • Raum: HGW S1 (Übertragung Hörsaal D2)
  • Gastgeber: IPP
It took about a century until the riddle of the origin of the Sun's energy was solved. The first theory based on energy conservation was suggested in the 1840s, to be transformed into the successful Helmholtz-Kelvin contraction theory a few decades later. This theory held the position as a standard theory for about 40 years, but was eventually challenged by theories based on radioactive decay. However, the Sun is not a radioactive machine and only in the late 1930s, after the emergence of nuclear physics, did a satisfactory explanation arrive with Bethe's celebrated theory of stellar energy production. The talk reviews the development in a historical perspective.
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