Transport of Energy by Radiation and Conduction
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The energy the star radiates away so profusely from its surface is generally replenished from reservoirs situated in the very hot central region. This requires an effective transfer of energy through the stellar material, which is possible owing to the existence of a non-vanishing temperature gradient in the star. Depending on the local physical situation, the transfer can occur mainly via radiation, conduction, and convection. In any case, certain “particles” (photons, atoms, electrons, “blobs” of matter) are exchanged between hotter and cooler parts, and their mean free path together with the temperature gradient of the surroundings will play a decisive role. The equation for the energy transport, written as a condition for the temperature gradient necessary for the required energy flow, will supply our next basic equation for the stellar structure.
KeywordsFree Path Energy Transport Hydrostatic Equilibrium Radiative Transport Stellar Structure
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