RES.8-007 | Fall 2019 | Undergraduate

Cosmic Origin of the Chemical Elements


Episode 4: The First Chemical Enrichment Events

The first stars forged metals heavier than hydrogen and helium in their cores to produce energy to shine. These heavier elements were then expelled into space once the stars exploded as the first massive supernovae. Since then, massive exploding stars have contributed elements to the universe thus setting in motion the cosmic chemical evolution. Consequently, old stars formed from gas enriched by only one or few supernovae and younger stars like the sun formed from gas enriched by perhaps a thousand events. 

Associated Book Chapters from Searching for the Oldest Stars: Ancient Relics from the Early Universe

  • Chapter 3: Stars, Stars, More Stars
  • Chapter 4: Stellar Evolution—From Birth to Death
  • Chapter 9: The Chemical Evolution of the Early Universe
  • Chapter 10: Finding the Oldest Stars

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2019
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Videos
Instructor Insights