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Paper: Atomic Diffusion, Mixing, and Element Abundances in Main Sequence Stars
Volume: 479, Progress in Physics of the Sun and Stars
Page: 27
Authors: Vauclair, S.
Abstract: Atomic diffusion is now recognized as a standard process working in stars, and gravitational settling is introduced in most stellar evolution codes. Helioseismology proved the importance of the downward diffusion of helium and heavy elements below the solar convective zone. However, in more massive stars, the effect of selective radiative accelerations cannot be neglected. It has been known for a long time that the resulting atomic levitation may, in some cases, lead to abundance variations in stellar atmospheres, as observed in the so-called chemically peculiar stars. But this was only part of the story. We have now discovered that, when acting on important elements like iron or nickel, radiative levitation may also lead to global macroscopic effects inside stars, like extra convective zones, wave excitation by the κ-mechanism, and double-diffusive mixing processes like fingering (thermohaline) convection. This paper presents some links between these processes and their consequences.
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