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) beginning with silicon. Elements up to iron, nickel, and zinc. are synthesized. Silicon burning takes place in a sufficiently-massive star during a phase while in the asymptotic giant branch (AGB), forming after a oxygen-burning shell has started (according to one common model), 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 occurs (possibly with a core collapse supernova), leaving a neutron star or stellar-mass black hole.

Further reading:

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