Jim Al-Khalili TV - Universe TV - The Universe TV - Brian Cox TV - Harold Zirin - Ken Lang - Horizon TV - Can We Survive the Death of the Sun? TV - Arthur Stanley Eddington -
A few minutes were all Gamov needed. In that time all the hydrogen and almost all the helium was made. That’s about 98% of all the atoms in the universe today. Or as Gamov put it, our universe was cooked in less time that it takes to cook a dish of duck and roast potatoes. Professor Jim Al-Khalili, Atom: The Key to the Cosmos, BBC 2007
Scientists found that a quarter of the sun was in fact helium. Which was considerably more than they thought. They realised that to fuse that amount of helium would mean the sun would have to be burning at billions of degrees. But the truth was the sun only burns at fifteen million degrees ... Per cubic metre the sun actually generates less heat than a human being. ibid.
The same nuclear reactions that take place in a hydrogen bomb – converting hydrogen into helium – produces the energy that causes stars to shine. Universe: Stars
A colossal nuclear reactor comprised of three-quarters hydrogen – the rest mostly helium with traces of heavier elements ... This process called Fusion gives off radiant energy. The Universe: Dark Future of Our Sun, History 2010
The core will start to collapse very rapidly leaving a shell, leaving hydrogen and helium behind ... The creation process of Carbon and Oxygen is over in the blink of an eye. Brian Cox, Wonders of the Universe 2/4: Stardust, BBC 2011
The fusion of hydrogen into helium is the foundation of all the sun’s power. Brian Cox: Wonders of the Solar System, BBC 2010
A helium atom weighs a little bit less than four hydrogen atoms. And if you use Einstein’s good old formula E = MC² that means you get a whole lot of energy for just that little bit of mass. Professor Harold Zirin
The Sun shines by nuclear fusion: the fusion of four hydrogens into one helium. First one hydrogen fuses to another, then another, then a fourth. Helium weighs less than the four hydrogens that went into making it. What you get out is less than what you put in. That mass difference is energy that powers the Sun. Ken Lang, author
Eddington suggested that the sun shines by combining hydrogen into helium, releasing the missing mass as energy. Horizon: Can We Make a Star on Earth? BBC 2009
[Harrison] Schmitt came back from the moon and analysed samples he’d collected. He found they contained significant quantities of Helium 3. Horizon: Moon For Sale, BBC 2007
As the helium atoms turn into a super-fluid at that critical temperature their fundamental nature asserts itself. Instead of individual atoms bouncing around, the atoms move together as if they were of one mind. Ben Miller, Horizon: What is One Degree? BBC 2011
As a super-fluid the liquid helium has no viscosity. ibid.
Helium 3 is a gas ejected from the surface of the sun ... On the moon, where there’s nothing to block it, the gas is trapped by the lunar soil. It would be enough to power the Earth for hundreds of years. Stuff: A Horizon Guide to Materials, BBC 2012
After the Sun destroys Earth, it burns helium for two billion years, runs out of fuel and collapses into a tiny dim white dwarf star. Can We Survive the Death of the Sun?
The helium which we handle must have been put together at some time and some place. We do not argue with the critic who urges that the stars are not hot enough for this process; we tell him to go and find a hotter place. Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Internal Constitution of the Stars, 1926