Origin of the Elements Part I: from H to Fe, Ni, and Zn

Thielemann, Friedrich-Karl. (2021) Origin of the Elements Part I: from H to Fe, Ni, and Zn. SPG Mitteilungen, 63. pp. 24-31.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/87521/

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What is the world made of? Ancient philosophers postulated four or five elements. Much later Dimitri Mendeleev (1869) and Lothar Meyer (1870) extended the quest to a rapidly expanding table of chemical elements. Using spectral analysis techniques that they had pioneered earlier, Kirchhoff and Bunsen (1860, 1861) discovered Fraunhofer lines in the solar spectrum, which showed that the elements found on Earth also existed in stars, though in different proportions. The abundance tabulations of Goldschmidt (1938) and later Suess and Urey (1956) showed a standard pattern for the solar system, which astronomers today extend for objects throughout the cosmos. How could all those observations be explained? In 1957, independent of each other, two teams (1) J. and M. Burbidge, W. Fowler, and F. Hoyle, and (2) A. G. W. Cameron, worked on first comprehensive ideas to understand the origin of the full abundance pattern as we find it today (B2FH 1957, Nobel Prize for Fowler in 1983; Cameron 1957), caused by nuclear reactions in ionized stellar plasmas, which depend on temperature due to the thermal velocity distributions of reacting partners. In the present article we will pass through the elements from the lightest to the heaviest ones (in part I up to Fe, Ni, and Zn), giving an idea of the progress made through the years.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Physik > Former Organization Units Physics > Theoretische Physik Astrophysik (Thielemann)
UniBasel Contributors:Thielemann, Friedrich-Karl
Item Type:Article
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Swiss Physical Society
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:06 May 2022 11:43
Deposited On:13 Apr 2022 08:24

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