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Q & A: wood energy

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
where does wood get the energy it needs to burn? like does it come from the sun, water, or what ever. Where does it get it from
- Jake (age 14)
Winthrop Middle School, Winthrop Maine
A:
It comes from the sun. The carbon compounds in wood that burn are all ultimately made via photosynthesis, using energy from the Sun. The source of the Sun's energy is nuclear.

Mike W.

(published on 10/22/2007)

Follow-Up #1: nuclear sun

Q:
why do you say that it is nuclear sorry im doing grade 9 this year
- john (age 77)
durban
A:
Good question. We always believe in getting to the real point, not just words, but sometimes we slip.

We call it nuclear because it comes from reactions involving the fusion (joining together) of the nuclei of atoms. The nuclei are the small, heavy, middle parts of atoms. They consist of protons and neutrons. Ordinary non-nuclear chemistry involves changes in the light, spread-out outer reaches of atoms. These parts consist of electrons. The energy involved in nuclear changes is generally much larger.

Hope that helps some.

 Mike W.


(published on 10/22/2007)

Follow-up on this answer.