helium burning

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helium burning

The nuclear fusion of three helium nuclei to form carbon. See triple alpha process.

helium burning

[′hē·lē·əm ‚bərn·iŋ]
(nuclear physics)
The synthesis of elements in stars through the fusion of three alpha particles to form a carbon-12 nucleus, followed by further captures of alpha particles.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the last 500,000 years, helium fusion takes over.