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The Energy of Nature$
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E. C. Pielou

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780226668062

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226668055.001.0001

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The Warmth of the Earth

The Warmth of the Earth

Nuclear Reactions Sustain All Life

Chapter:
(p.139) 13 The Warmth of the Earth
Source:
The Energy of Nature
Author(s):

E. C. Pielou

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226668055.003.0013

Not all the earth's energy comes from sunlight. A small fraction — one part in four or five thousand — comes from the earth's internal heat. This is the energy that shifts tectonic plates and that powers earthquakes and volcanoes. It heats rocks to temperatures high enough to change them to metamorphic rocks — limestone to marble, for example, and granite to schist. It drives the circulation of liquid iron in the earth's core, which makes the whole earth a magnet. It heats hot springs and geysers. This chapter discusses the following: atomic nuclei; the binding together of nuclear particles; nuclear fusion; and nuclear fission.

Keywords:   internal heat, earthquakes, atomic nuclei, nuclear particles, nuclear fission, nuclear fusion

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