Last night I had the opportunity to compete in a charity quiz bowl for our local adult literacy program. One of the questions that was given to us concerned the type of nuclear reaction that happens in the sun. I buzzed in first and gave the answer “fusion”, which I thought would be adequate as an answer. Apparently that wasn’t the case, since the judges were looking for the specific term “thermonuclear fusion”.
I’ll admit I have never taken a physics course in my life, but I do like to read on a wide range of subjects. Was my answer that far off base that it could be called incorrect? Wouldn’t all fusion reactions by their nature be considered thermonuclear? (Let’s not even get into the subject of cold fusion, okay?)
I guess if I really wanted to get technical about it, I should have used the term “stellar fusion” instead. Seems like that would have been a more appropriate answer since it defines not only the type of reaction but the scale as well.
What do you all think? Was I robbed of my points?