This idea has legs, but it is not without problems. Imploding/exploding shock waves do not start out releasing any more energy than was already there — they just keep stirring it up — so this isn't an energy release mechanism. The light generated in the core will be fully absorbed by the 696 Mm of overlying plasma, and you don't get any net luminosity. So you're not converting the mechanical energy of sound waves into light that propagates outward — this is just another way of thermalizing the sound waves, and eventually, all of the energy in the waves will have been converted to randomized particle motions.
Ah, but it isn't that simple. Due to gravity, the pressure in the core is 2.35 × 1016
. All by itself, this is insufficient for hydrogen fusion (regardless of what the fusion furnace folks would like to think). But if you throw in an imploding shock wave, especially on a solar scale, you can easily exceed the pressure/temperature necessary for fusion. So now you have an energy release mechanism. Note that this isn't going to produce visible light, because (as noted above) all of the gamma rays will be fully absorbed. But it will produce heat, and I demonstrate elsewhere
that supercritical hydrogen produces black-body radiation if heated to the appropriate temperature, and that this can exist close enough to the surface to release BB radiation. (The standard model can't get there, by my model can.) So you have a fusion furnace, but unlike the standard model, you actually have the conditions necessary for fusion, and invoking my model, you get BB radiation as output.
The first big problem with imploding shock wave fusion, in this context, is that it isn't sustainable. An imploding wave will certainly generate a fusion event. This has been proven in table-top experiments. That will create an exploding shock wave. In a spherical container (or in the Sun), the exploding wave will bounce off the container (or the extents of the plasma), and next you have another imploding wave. So it looks like the process will repeat under its own power, or even get more violent, since the energy from the original implosion is preserved, plus you have energy from the fusion event. So this would create a runaway implosion/explosion cycle that would turn the whole thing into a thermonuclear bomb. It might make a supernova, but it won't make a steady-state star. Yet this actually isn't what is going to happen. The reason is that the second imploding shock wave converges on a point where all of the nuclear fuel has already been used up. If the first nuclear event was hydrogen fusion, then when the second event tries to occur, there is less hydrogen there, and more helium. So there is less fuel. There is also a lot of heat there, which means that the plasma will be less dense. So while the runaway thermonuclear reaction is possible, if it doesn't happen, the furnace goes out after just a few cycles.
We'd like to think that there would be a way of getting the fusion by-products out of the core, and getting fresh hydrogen in there, so that the process could continue. Naively we might think that the super-hot plasma in the center would convect upward, and cooler plasma would settle to the bottom, putting new fuel in place for the next implosion. But here we have to consider the significance of the spherical geometry, and how gravity actually behaves at the center. There is no convection at the center of the Sun, because there is no net gravity. So a bubble of super-hot plasma at the very center isn't going to convect "upward", because "upward" is in all directions from there, and the bubble can't decide which way to go. Hence it just sits there. Successive cycles will complete the fusion of all of the hydrogen into helium, and perhaps helium into heavier elements. (This might be how stars manufacture heavy elements, with imploding shock waves, not with supernovae.) But sooner or later, the fuel is used up, and the furnace goes out. As the plasma cools, the elements are sorted by mass, with the heaviest elements at the center, which are harder to fuse into anything heavier. In my model, for the Sun to have an overall density of 1408 kg/m3
, I have osmium & platinum in the core, with nickel & iron in the middle, and helium & hydrogen around the outside. Osmium & platinum are 6th
period elements, which aren't going to fuse into anything heavier. So it would seem that the fusion furnace went out a long time ago.
Ah, but it still isn't that simple. There is no theoretical limit to the temperature that can be achieved at the center of an imploding shock wave, and while this can create fusion, it might also smash heavy atoms (e.g., osmium & platinum) together with enough force to split them. Then, still under enormous pressure, it fuses them back together again. So now you have both nuclear reactions going on. But will that produce a net energy release?
I don't know the answer to that question, and that's as far as I got with that analysis. In the end, I decided that such mechanisms might be an energy source, but that the net product can only be heat that conducts to the surface, while the actual properties of the Sun cannot be explained just by heat alone. Solar flares, sunspots, granules, differential rotation, and many other characteristics all require an EM model, since they just have no business being there if the Sun is just a nuclear furnace. So I focused on all of that stuff, and neglected core energy sources. But I'd like to suggest that you pursue this line of reasoning. My energy budget, which is all coming from the release of electrostatic potentials, might come up shy in the end, and a realistic nuclear furnace model might be necessary in the complete description of the Sun. If so, and if you're willing to champion the idea, you'll get the credit for it. If I had to guess, the self-defeating mechanisms that I have described might not put the furnace out — they might just regulate it. But you'll have to work that out yourself, because I already have my hands full with the EM model. Cheers!