What Makes the Stars Shine?

January 26, 2008

What Makes the Stars Shine? Physical Review Focus has a brief note about Bethe’s two papers from 1939 that demonstrated that nuclear fusion causes the stars to shine, as well as having links to the original papers.

On a personal note, I saw Bethe speak once. He gave a talk at Caltech, and I ended up leaving a conference early to make it back in time to hear the man speak. Bethe spoke of the formation of black holes from twin stars. I’m not an astrophysicist, but I do quantum mechanics, where Bethe also made huge contributions. Bethe was very old at the time, and lost his place in his notes several times during his talk, but he had a packed room eating out of his hand. It was a wonderful experience.

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