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With fusion on the rise we are going to have a lot of helium but what gases are limited in helium burning?

Context: my science teacher did not know the answer and I got curious

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closed as unclear what you're asking by Separatrix, ArtificialSoul, Frostfyre, Gryphon, Chickens are not cows Mar 18 at 12:36

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ Are you asking about burning hydrogen or helium? $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Mar 18 at 11:57
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    $\begingroup$ What do you exactly mean limited in helium burning? $\endgroup$ – Whitecold Mar 18 at 12:06
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    $\begingroup$ This question is just asking for regular physics and feels pretty off-topic for worldbuilding. You might want to try physics.SE (or just plain wikipedia). $\endgroup$ – ArtificialSoul Mar 18 at 12:09
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome at Worldbuilding.SE! Please have a look on the Tour! As it is, your question has IMO two problems: 1) It is a little bit unclear what excactly you are asking and 2) It seems to me that your question is off-topic for Worldbuilding. $\endgroup$ – DarthDonut Mar 18 at 12:22
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    $\begingroup$ First, this question doesn't belong in world building, it should be physics, chemistry, or astronomy. Second the question is really unclear what you're asking. Third, the answer is probably Carbon, as it is next in the series of stable elements to be formed in a star after Helium. $\endgroup$ – Mathaddict Mar 18 at 16:46
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I suspect you have some confusion about the process.

Nuclear fusion does not involve any burning in the usual sense, involving a combustible and a comburent interacting with each other to release energy by basically rearranging the electrons around them.

Nuclear fusion involves more atoms rearranging their nuclei to release enery. In the case of Helium, four hydrogen atoms merge their nuclei (1 proton each) to produce a single helium atom (2 protons and 2 neutrons).

Therefore you need hydrogen to fuse it into helium and produce energy.

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    $\begingroup$ The term "burning" is often used to describe fusion: e.g "Stars evolve because of changes in their composition (the abundance of their constituent elements) over their lifespans, first by burning hydrogen (main sequence star), then helium (red giant star), and progressively burning higher elements." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stellar_nucleosynthesis. But not burning in the chemical sense, as you point out. @Norgeskifolio - check that link for your answer re what happens to helium. $\endgroup$ – Willk Mar 18 at 12:27

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