The nineteenth-century astronomer John Herschel described eloquently the fundamental role of sunshine in all of human life in his 1833 Treatise on Astronomy: The sun's rays are the ultimate source of almost every motion which takes place on the surface of the earth. By their vivifying action vegetables are elaborated from inorganic matter, and become, in their turn, the support of animals and of man, and the sources of those great deposits of dynamical efficiency which are laid up for human use in our coal strata.
In this essay, we shall review from an historical perspective the development of our understanding of how the sun (the nearest star) shines, beginning in the following section with the nineteenth-century controversy over the age of the sun.
The total energy that the sun has radiated away over its lifetime is approximately the product of the current rate at which energy is being emitted, which is called the solar luminosity, times the age of the sun.
The older the sun is, the greater the total amount of radiated solar energy.
The body fights off infection by producing antibodies, which destroy or neutralize bacteria, viruses, or other harmful toxins.
antigen Any foreign substance, such as a protein, toxin or other particle that stimulates the body’s immune system to produce antibodies.
Because of the distortions and lies spread by fundamentalists about scientific dating there is a need for a centralized source of information on the topic.
Please remember that all dating methods, even those termed "absolute," are subject to margins of error. That is a very small amount of possible error range. Modern studies almost always use two or more methods to confirm dating work and to build confidence in the results obtained.
Overview of Methods Superposition Stratigraphy Dendrochronology Radiocarbon C14 Radiometric Dating Methods Obsidian Hydration Dating Paleomagnetic/Archaeomagnetic Luminescence Dating Methods Amino Acid Racemization Fission-track Dating Ice Cores Varves Pollens Corals Cation Ratio Fluorine Dating Patination Oxidizable Carbon Ratio Electron Spin Resonance Cosmic-ray Exposure Dating This is an excellent overview of dating methodologies, and is a chapter in a textbook on Archaeology.
In later sections, we shall see how seemingly unrelated discoveries in fundamental physics led to a theory of nuclear energy generation in stars that resolved the controversy over the age of the sun and explained the origin of solar radiation. These questions are two sides of the same coin, as we shall see.
In the section just before the summary, we shall discuss how experiments that were designed to test the theory of nuclear energy generation in stars revealed a new mystery, the Mystery of the Missing Neutrinos. The rate at which the sun is radiating energy is easily computed by using the measured rate at which energy reaches the earth's surface and the distance between the earth and the sun.
A few examples of such lies are presented at the very bottom of this page.