David+L.+Allen+Origin_of_Elements+2005

David+L.+Allen+Origin_of_Elements+2005 - The Origin of the...

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The Origin of the Elements edited by David L. Alles Western Washington University e-mail: alles@biol.wwu.edu This web paper was last updated 3/13/05.
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Introduction The ordinary matter in our universe (known as baryonic matter) is made up of 94* naturally occurring elements, the familiar beasts of the periodic table. And it is one of the stunning achievements of twentieth century science that the question of where these elements came from has now been answered. The story of the origin of the elements is intimately intertwined with the evolution of our universe. It is also a central part of the evolution of life on Earth. The elements that make up our bodies reflect the cosmic abundance of the elements, and their presents on the Earth is, itself, part of the evolutionary history of stars. As Neil de Grasse Tyson, an astrophysicist and the director of New York City’s Hayden Planetarium, has put it: “We are not simply in the universe; we are born from it.” (Tyson, 1998). Web Reference for Periodic Table http://pearl1.lanl.gov/periodic/default.htm *Web References for 94 Naturally Occurring Elements http://www.curtin.edu.au/curtin/centre/waisrc/OKLO/index.shtml http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap050220.html
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Allan Sandage on Stellar Evolution "Historians of science a hundred years hence will remember twentieth- century astronomy for two main accomplishments. One is the development of a cosmology of the early universe, from creation through consequent expansion. The other is the understanding of stellar evolution. Although not as well known among nonscientists as the Big Bang, the notion of the evolution of stars provided the foundation upon which astronomers built the grand synthesis of cosmological origins. The idea that stars change as they age and that these changes in turn alter their local environment and the chemical makeup of their parent galaxy—an idea that has developed only within the past fifty years—stands in the same relation to astronomy as the Darwinian revolution does to biology. It is a conceptual breakthrough that makes possible the modern understanding of the origin, evolution, and fate of the universe. Because all elements heavier than helium have been nucleosynthesized by stars, all the heavier chemical elements that are the raw materials of life were one time part of a stellar life cycle. We are the product of the stars. This is one of the most profound insights to have arisen out of twentieth-century astronomy. Life is clearly a property of the evolving universe made possible by stellar evolution." (Sandage, 2000) Web Reference for Allan Sandage http://www.ociw.edu/research/sandage.html
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The Origin of the Light Elements The origin of all the naturally occurring elements fall into two phases: Big Bang or Primordial Nucleosynthesis—the origin of the “light” elements; and Stellar Nucleosynthesis—the origin and production of the “heavy” elements. When astronomers refer to the “light elements”, they refer mainly to
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David+L.+Allen+Origin_of_Elements+2005 - The Origin of the...

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