Journal of Fusion Energy

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 55–62 | Cite as

The Oxygen to Carbon Ratio in the Solar Interior: Information from Nuclear Reaction Cross-Sections

  • O ManuelEmail author
  • William A Myers
  • Yashmeet Singh
  • Marcel Pleess


Mass separation in the Sun may explain a serious difficulty that has plagued nuclear astrophysics for decades: Why the oxygen to carbon ratio in the Sun’s photosphere is only two, O/C ≈ 2. After correcting for mass fractionation, the ratio of these helium-burning products in the Sun is much larger, O/C ≈ 9–10. The lower value, O/C ≈ 9, is probably more reliable. It is based on measurements of mass separation of stable noble gas isotopes in the solar wind over the mass range of 3–136 amu. The higher value, O/C ≈ 10, is based on a comparison of neutron-capture cross-sections and the abundances of s-products in the photosphere over the mass range of 25–207 amu. Both methods indicate that Fe, Ni, O, Si, and S are the most abundant elements in the Sun. These elements are produced in the deep interior of supernovae.


Solar O/C ratio helium-burning s-products in the Sun composition of the Sun 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • O Manuel
    • 1
    Email author
  • William A Myers
    • 2
  • Yashmeet Singh
    • 3
  • Marcel Pleess
    • 4
  1. 1.Nuclear ChemistryUniversity of MissouriRollaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of ArkansasFayettevilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of MissouriRollaUSA
  4. 4.Kepler-GymnasiumTuebingen, DettenhausenGermany

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