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Fri, 21 Jul



CAA: The Origin of Elements

Hydrogen and Helium were created during the first three minutes of time, but most other elements came along later. This talk will help us understand the processes

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CAA: The Origin of Elements
CAA: The Origin of Elements

Time & Location

21 Jul 2023, 20:00 – 22:00

IoA, Madingley Rd, Cambridge CB3 0HA, UK

About The Event

Professor Christopher Tout will guide us through this fascinating topic

Stars are the source of all elements heavier than and including carbon.  To understand which stars yield which elements and when, we must first understand the structure and evolution of stars.  Much of this understanding grew over the course of the twentieth century led by increasingly better and systematic observation and subsequently by growing computational power.  Elements up to the iron peak are created during fusion reactions that power the stars themselves and are dispersed when they die in spectacular supernovae.  Even while a quantitative study of stellar evolution was beginning in the 1950s it was realized that heavier elements must be formed by neutron capture processes.  It is only now, in the twenty-first century, that we begin to understand the details of how multiple nuclear burning shells and mixing during the late stages of the lives of some stars and the merging of binary neutron stars actually produces elements heavier than iron and distributes them through our Galaxy.

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