George F. Smoot (2017) - Cosmic Connections

George F. Smoot (2017)

Cosmic Connections

George F. Smoot (2017)

Cosmic Connections

Abstract

We have strong evidence that the universe began via the Big Bang expanding from a hot dense state. Much interesting physical developments happen even before the formation of protons and neutrons. Following that, the creation of the elements (nuclei) came from four major effects: (1) Big Bang Nucleosynthesis of the light elements, (2) fusion in stars producing elements up to the most stable iron peak, (3) heavy elements via supernovae explosions, and (4) some light elements by cosmic ray fragmentation. With the formation and ejection of these elements chemistry began in space cooler than stars. The production of the elements by the first generation of stars then allowed second generations of stellar systems with planets. The formation of planets then produced both planets and chemical fractionization and concentrations that allowed the development of life as we know it.

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