### Gamow peak

(relative speed most likely to cause atoms to fuse within a gas)

The **Gamow peak** is the peak
of the probability density function (PDF) that relates the probability of fusing
to the speed of atoms within a gas; atoms moving at the speed
indicated by the peak are those most likely to undergo fusion.
It is relevant to nucleosynthesis by fusion, such as that within stars.
The probability of fusing, called the **Gamow factor**,
is the combination
of two probabilities: the probability that two colliding atoms will
have a particular speed relative to each other
(assuming the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution),
and the probability of quantum tunneling given that relative
speed, a probability that quantum mechanics provides. Fusion
primarily takes place through quantum tunneling of a particle
through the electric field of another (repelled by the
Coulomb force) to get sufficiently close that the strong force
holds them together.

The *Gamow factor* and *Gamow peak* of a gas are dependent upon its
temperature as well as its constituents. Tunneling is more
likely with higher the speed, but at a given temperature, there are
fewer atoms as you consider higher speeds, and the combination of
the two probability distributions features a maximum probability
of tunneling, the Gamow peak. The **Gamow window** refers to a general
range around the peak within which the majority of the fusion will
take place.

(*physics,nucleosynthesis*)
**Further reading:**

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamow_factor

http://www.phys.unm.edu/~gbtaylor/astr421/lectures/16_A421_StellarInteriorsIInew.pdf

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