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Stellar fusion and supernovae are governed by quantum particle interactions (on massive scales). In general there are many possible ways for particles to interact, decay, etc. at various probabilities. To understand the physics of a system correctly you must take account of all possibilities (up to an error tolerance in actual practice). One often sees ...


Suppose you collect 11.0114 grams of carbon-11, come back 27.11 hours (80 half lives) later, and see what your sample has become. The most likely outcome: You'll find that you have 11.0093 grams of boron-11 and absolutely no carbon 11. You might find an atom or two of carbon-11 amongst those 11.0093 grams of boron-11. What about other results, for example, ...

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