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The first step of the Hydrogen fusion process: a nucleus of Deuterium (2H) is formed from two protons with the emission of an antielectron and a neutrino.
University of Oregon

The Hydrogen Fusion Process

In the basic Hydrogen fusion cycle, four Hydrogen nuclei (protons) come together to make a Helium nucleus. This is the simple version of the story. There are actually electrons, neutrinos and photons involved that make the fusion of Hydrogen into Helium possible.

The important thing to remember is that this fusion cycle releases energy in the core of the star. It is this fusion cycle that generates energy in our Sun. We know of this energy when we feel hot on Summer days!

This whole process happens in three steps. There are animations of the three steps below to help you visualize this process!

Movies courtesy of University of Oregon

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA