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Formation of Heavy Metals in the Universe

Heavy Metals in the Universe ∴ Astronomers at the University of California, San Diego, say that elements such as gold, platinum or uranium (and any element harder than iron) have formed as a result of massive star transformation and associated supernovae explosions or binary star unification.

George Fuller, an astrophysicist, and physics professor who directs the Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences at UC San Diego said: “There is a need for a blast furnace to create gold, platinum, uranium, and any other element harder than iron. These elements were most likely formed in neutron-filled environments. ”

In a paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, Fuller and two other astrophysicists at UCLA – Alex Kusenko and Volodymyr Takhistov – have developed another method by which the stars would have produced these heavy elements: small black holes came in contact with Neutron stars, writes Science Daily.

Heavy Metals

Hydrodynamic instability in a cosmic dark matter halo when the universe was 300 million years old. Credit: Chalence Safranek-Shrader, Milos Milosavljevic, and Volker Bromm, the University of Texas at Austin.

The existence of small black holes is speculative, but many astronomers claim that they could be a byproduct of the Big Bang and can now form a fraction of the dark matter.

If these small black holes correspond to the distribution of dark matter in space and coexist with neutron stars, Fuller and his colleagues claim that physical phenomena can occur. They have stated that in some rare situations, a neutron star will capture such a black hole, and the latter will devour the star inside. This violent process can lead to the ejecting of the extremely dense matter. “As neutron stars are devoured, they spin and emit neutronic cold matter, which decompresses and warms producing these elements,” adds Fuller.

Star Populations

After the composition, there are several types of stars in the universe. Astronomers call them “populations” and the division is relatively simple: the stars differ from one another by the abundance of heavy chemical elements. The idea was introduced in 1940 by Walter Baade.

Heavy Metals

The first time was only the stars composed of hydrogen, helium, and lithium because only these chemical elements appeared in the light of the Big Bang. The first stars in the universe were large, and in order to keep them in balance, they needed to be very hot inside (remember that hotness is a measure of atom agitation).

Because the stars were hot, the hydrogen atoms were moving so fast that when they came close to each other they were not rejecting but getting together, forming another chemical element: helium! Small amounts of nitrogen, carbon, and oxygen appeared, and so the Universe became richer, more diverse. All were still in the nuclei of the stars, but everything was taking them to space.

Heavy Metals

After hydrogen is consumed, helium fuses in carbon, carbon in oxygen, neon, sodium and magnesium, neon in neon, oxygen and magnesium, oxygen in silicon, phosphorus and sulfur, nickel and iron silicon and the star suddenly shrinks and explodes for That the last two chemical elements can no longer merge into heavier elements than through energy consumption. How the atmosphere of the star contains all the above elements means that after the explosions of the first generation stars the universe now contained all but the three “primordial” ones.

The laws of physics have also forced the elements expelled into space by the first stars to turn into others by bombarding them with neutrons in the nucleus. So many of the more “heavy” chemicals appeared than iron.

The light of the first stars can not be seen anymore. They formed only 300 million years after the Big Bang, and they lived too little (one million years old) but we know they existed because otherwise, we would not have existed.


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