Astrophysics (Index)About

silicon burning

(alpha process fusion starting at silicon)

Silicon burning is essentially the alpha process (nuclei fusing with helium nuclei to form an element of atomic number two higher) starting at silicon. Elements up to iron, nickel, and zinc. are synthesized. Silicon burning takes place in some early stars, in a silicon-burning shell, after oxygen burning has started, and after the temperature has risen to on the order of 2 × 109 K. It is said to last on the order of a day, after which a core collapse supernova occurs, leaving a neutron star or stellar-mass black hole.

Further reading:

Referenced by pages:
alpha process
oxygen burning
silicon (Si)