A chain of thermonuclear reactions in which nitrogen isotopes are formed in intermediate stages and carbon acts essentially as a catalyst to convert four hydrogen atoms into one helium atom with the emission of two positrons. The entire sequence is thought to generate significant amounts of energy in the sun and certain other stars.carbon cycle nitrogen cycle
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Science definitions for carbon-nitrogen cycle
See carbon cycle.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.