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

  • $\begingroup$ Are you asking about burning hydrogen or helium? $\endgroup$
    – Separatrix
    Mar 18 '19 at 11:57
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    $\begingroup$ What do you exactly mean limited in helium burning? $\endgroup$
    – Whitecold
    Mar 18 '19 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). $\endgroup$ Mar 18 '19 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 '19 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 '19 at 16:46

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 '19 at 12:27

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