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Nucleosynthesis
Nucleosynthesis is the process that creates new atomic nuclei from pre-existing nucleons (protons and neutrons) and nuclei. According to current theories, the first nuclei were formed a few minutes after the Big Bang, through nuclear reactions in a process called Big Bang nucleosynthesis. After about 20 minutes, the universe had expanded and cooled to a point at which these high-energy collisions among nucleons ended, so only the fastest and simplest reactions occurred, leaving our universe containing hydrogen and helium. The rest is traces of other elements such as lithium and the hydrogen isotope deuterium. Nucleosynthesis in stars and their explosions later produced the variety of elements and isotopes that we have today, in a process called cosmic chemical evolution. The amounts of total mass in elements heavier than hydrogen and helium (called 'metals' by astrophysicists) remains small (few percent), so that the universe still has approximately the same composition. Stars fus ...
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Nucleosynthesis Periodic Table
Nucleosynthesis is the process that creates new atomic nuclei from pre-existing nucleons (protons and neutrons) and nuclei. According to current theories, the first nuclei were formed a few minutes after the Big Bang, through nuclear reactions in a process called Big Bang nucleosynthesis. After about 20 minutes, the universe had expanded and cooled to a point at which these high-energy collisions among nucleons ended, so only the fastest and simplest reactions occurred, leaving our universe containing hydrogen and helium. The rest is traces of other elements such as lithium and the hydrogen isotope deuterium. Nucleosynthesis in stars and their explosions later produced the variety of elements and isotopes that we have today, in a process called cosmic chemical evolution. The amounts of total mass in elements heavier than hydrogen and helium (called 'metals' by astrophysicists) remains small (few percent), so that the universe still has approximately the same composition. Stars fuse ...
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Supernova Nucleosynthesis
Supernova nucleosynthesis is the nucleosynthesis of chemical elements in supernova explosions. In sufficiently massive stars, the nucleosynthesis by fusion of lighter elements into heavier ones occurs during sequential hydrostatic burning processes called helium burning, carbon burning, oxygen burning, and silicon burning, in which the byproducts of one nuclear fuel become, after compressional heating, the fuel for the subsequent burning stage. In this context, the word "burning" refers to nuclear fusion and not a chemical reaction. During hydrostatic burning these fuels synthesize overwhelmingly the alpha nuclides (), nuclei composed of integer numbers of helium-4 nuclei. A rapid final explosive burning is caused by the sudden temperature spike owing to passage of the radially moving shock wave that was launched by the gravitational collapse of the core. W. D. Arnett and his Rice University colleagues demonstrated that the final shock burning would synthesize the non-alph ...
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Big Bang Nucleosynthesis
In physical cosmology, Big Bang nucleosynthesis (abbreviated BBN, also known as primordial nucleosynthesis) is the production of nuclei other than those of the lightest isotope of hydrogen ( hydrogen-1, 1H, having a single proton as a nucleus) during the early phases of the Universe. Primordial nucleosynthesis is believed by most cosmologists to have taken place in the interval from roughly 10 seconds to 20 minutes after the Big Bang, and is calculated to be responsible for the formation of most of the universe's helium as the isotope helium-4 (4He), along with small amounts of the hydrogen isotope deuterium (2H or D), the helium isotope helium-3 (3He), and a very small amount of the lithium isotope lithium-7 (7Li). In addition to these stable nuclei, two unstable or radioactive isotopes were also produced: the heavy hydrogen isotope tritium (3H or T); and the beryllium isotope beryllium-7 (7Be); but these unstable isotopes later decayed into 3He and 7Li, respectiv ...
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Stellar Fusion
Stellar nucleosynthesis is the nucleosynthesis, creation (nucleosynthesis) of chemical elements by nuclear fusion reactions within stars. Stellar nucleosynthesis has occurred since the Big Bang nucleosynthesis, original creation of hydrogen, helium and lithium during the Big Bang. As a predictive power, predictive theory, it yields accurate estimates of the observed abundances of the elements. It explains why the observed abundances of elements change over time and why some elements and their isotopes are much more abundant than others. The theory was initially proposed by Fred Hoyle in 1946, who later refined it in 1954. Further advances were made, especially to nucleosynthesis by neutron capture of the elements heavier than iron, by Margaret Burbidge, Margaret and Geoffrey Burbidge, William Alfred Fowler and Hoyle in their famous 1957 B2FH paper, B2FH paper, which became one of the most heavily cited papers in astrophysics history. Stellar evolution, Stars evolve because of ch ...
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Stellar Nucleosynthesis
Stellar nucleosynthesis is the creation (nucleosynthesis) of chemical elements by nuclear fusion reactions within stars. Stellar nucleosynthesis has occurred since the original creation of hydrogen, helium and lithium during the Big Bang. As a predictive theory, it yields accurate estimates of the observed abundances of the elements. It explains why the observed abundances of elements change over time and why some elements and their isotopes are much more abundant than others. The theory was initially proposed by Fred Hoyle in 1946, who later refined it in 1954. Further advances were made, especially to nucleosynthesis by neutron capture of the elements heavier than iron, by Margaret and Geoffrey Burbidge, William Alfred Fowler and Hoyle in their famous 1957 B2FH paper, which became one of the most heavily cited papers in astrophysics history. Stars evolve because of changes in their composition (the abundance of their constituent elements) over their lifespans, first ...
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R-process
In nuclear astrophysics, the rapid neutron-capture process, also known as the ''r''-process, is a set of nuclear reactions that is responsible for the creation of approximately half of the atomic nuclei heavier than iron, the "heavy elements", with the other half produced by the p-process and ''s''-process. The ''r''-process usually synthesizes the most neutron-rich stable isotopes of each heavy element. The ''r''-process can typically synthesize the heaviest four isotopes of every heavy element, and the two heaviest isotopes, which are referred to as ''r-only nuclei'', can be created via the ''r''-process only. Abundance peaks for the ''r''-process occur near mass numbers (elements Se, Br, and Kr), (elements Te, I, and Xe) and (elements Os, Ir, and Pt). The ''r''-process entails a succession of ''rapid'' neutron captures (hence the name) by one or more heavy seed nuclei, typically beginning with nuclei in the abundance peak centered on 56Fe. The captures must be rapid ...
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Cosmic Ray Spallation
Cosmic ray spallation, also known as the x-process, is a set of naturally occurring nuclear reactions causing nucleosynthesis; it refers to the formation of chemical elements from the impact of cosmic rays on an object. Cosmic rays are highly energetic charged particles from beyond Earth, ranging from protons, alpha particles, and nuclei of many heavier elements. About 1% of cosmic rays also consist of free electrons. Cosmic rays cause spallation when a ray particle (e.g. a proton) impacts with matter, including other cosmic rays. The result of the collision is the expulsion of particles (protons, neutrons, and alpha particles) from the object hit. This process goes on not only in deep space, but in Earth's upper atmosphere and crustal surface (typically the upper ten meters) due to the ongoing impact of cosmic rays. The process Cosmic ray spallation is thought to be responsible for the abundance in the universe of some light elements—lithium, beryllium, and boron—as well a ...
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Deuterium
Deuterium (or hydrogen-2, symbol or deuterium, also known as heavy hydrogen) is one of two stable isotopes of hydrogen (the other being protium, or hydrogen-1). The nucleus of a deuterium atom, called a deuteron, contains one proton and one neutron, whereas the far more common protium has no neutrons in the nucleus. Deuterium has a natural abundance in Earth's oceans of about one atom of deuterium among all  atoms of hydrogen (see heavy water). Thus deuterium accounts for approximately 0.0156% by number (0.0312% by mass) of all the naturally occurring hydrogen in the oceans, while protium accounts for more than 99.98%. The abundance of deuterium changes slightly from one kind of natural water to another (see Vienna Standard Mean Ocean Water). ( Tritium is yet another hydrogen isotope, with two neutrons, that is far more rare and is radioactive.) The name ''deuterium'' is derived from the Greek , meaning "second", to denote the two particles composing the nucleus. De ...
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Big Bang
The Big Bang event is a physical theory that describes how the universe expanded from an initial state of high density and temperature. Various cosmological models of the Big Bang explain the evolution of the observable universe from the earliest known periods through its subsequent large-scale form. These models offer a comprehensive explanation for a broad range of observed phenomena, including the abundance of light elements, the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation, and large-scale structure. The overall uniformity of the Universe, known as the flatness problem, is explained through cosmic inflation: a sudden and very rapid expansion of space during the earliest moments. However, physics currently lacks a widely accepted theory of quantum gravity that can successfully model the earliest conditions of the Big Bang. Crucially, these models are compatible with the Hubble–Lemaître law—the observation that the farther away a galaxy is, the faster it is mo ...
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Lithium
Lithium (from el, λίθος, lithos, lit=stone) is a chemical element with the symbol Li and atomic number 3. It is a soft, silvery-white alkali metal. Under standard conditions, it is the least dense metal and the least dense solid element. Like all alkali metals, lithium is highly reactive and flammable, and must be stored in vacuum, inert atmosphere, or inert liquid such as purified kerosene or mineral oil. When cut, it exhibits a metallic luster, but moist air corrodes it quickly to a dull silvery gray, then black tarnish. It never occurs freely in nature, but only in (usually ionic) compounds, such as pegmatitic minerals, which were once the main source of lithium. Due to its solubility as an ion, it is present in ocean water and is commonly obtained from brines. Lithium metal is isolated electrolytically from a mixture of lithium chloride and potassium chloride. The nucleus of the lithium atom verges on instability, since the two stable lithium isotopes ...
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Isotope
Isotopes are two or more types of atoms that have the same atomic number (number of protons in their nuclei) and position in the periodic table (and hence belong to the same chemical element), and that differ in nucleon numbers (mass numbers) due to different numbers of neutrons in their nuclei. While all isotopes of a given element have almost the same chemical properties, they have different atomic masses and physical properties. The term isotope is formed from the Greek roots isos ( ἴσος "equal") and topos ( τόπος "place"), meaning "the same place"; thus, the meaning behind the name is that different isotopes of a single element occupy the same position on the periodic table. It was coined by Scottish doctor and writer Margaret Todd in 1913 in a suggestion to the British chemist Frederick Soddy. The number of protons within the atom's nucleus is called its atomic number and is equal to the number of electrons in the neutral (non-ionized) atom. Each atom ...
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Nickel
Nickel is a chemical element with symbol Ni and atomic number 28. It is a silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight golden tinge. Nickel is a hard and ductile transition metal. Pure nickel is chemically reactive but large pieces are slow to react with air under standard conditions because a passivation layer of nickel oxide forms on the surface that prevents further corrosion. Even so, pure native nickel is found in Earth's crust only in tiny amounts, usually in ultramafic rocks, and in the interiors of larger nickel–iron meteorites that were not exposed to oxygen when outside Earth's atmosphere. Meteoric nickel is found in combination with iron, a reflection of the origin of those elements as major end products of supernova nucleosynthesis. An iron–nickel mixture is thought to compose Earth's outer and inner cores. Use of nickel (as natural meteoric nickel–iron alloy) has been traced as far back as 3500 BCE. Nickel was first isolated and classified a ...
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