Cosmic Origin of the Chemical Elements

Color image of outer space including stars

New stars are presently forming in the Orion nebula. (Image by NASA, ESA, M. Robberto (Space Telescope Science Institute/ESA) and the Hubble Space Telescope Orion Treasury Project Team. Image is in the public domain.) 


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Everything around us is made from different chemical elements: carbon, silicon, iron, and all the other elements from the Periodic Table. The lighter elements were mostly produced in the Big Bang, but the rest were (and are) formed within stars and in the explosions of supernovae. In this series of short lecture videos, created to accompany her book Searching for the Oldest Stars: Ancient Relics from the Early Universe (Princeton University Press, 2019), Professor Anna Frebel reveals the secrets of stardust and explains the cosmic origin of the elements.

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Anna Frebel. RES.8-007 Cosmic Origin of the Chemical Elements . Fall 2019. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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