Determining the origin of matter

Discussions ranging from space technology, near-earth and solar system missions, to efforts to understand the large-scale structure of the cosmos.

Determining the origin of matter

Postby Event Horizon on April 4th, 2018, 2:01 pm 

Hi folks. Some time ago, I was listening to a broadcast from the pop science broadcaster Dr. Karl. He was explaining that some of the matter our world and we consist of comes from some very distant reaches of space.

We know that the elements above iron are not produced in a sun like ours, because apparently this is the limit of fusion reactions in a sun like ours if I remember correctly. It makes absolute sense that the heavier elements were created elsewhere.

He went on to say that some of the matter we are comprised of came from the far reaches of the cosmos as it then was.

I've been trying to figure out how we know where the matter came from. How can we look at matter and somehow deduce its origin? I would have thought that atoms that arrived here would be identical to others elsewhere in the universe. I'm guessing that ancient matter may have a slightly different "signature" to matter originating in our own galaxy, but I don't know. If anyone else knows of this, I'd be very interested to find out how we apparently know where the matter originated.
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Re: Determining the origin of matter

Postby TheVat on April 4th, 2018, 4:04 pm ... d-advanced

I am not a good explainer, but this page is very helpful...and the links at the bottom give you more options on nucleosynthesis in supernovae, and the early cosmos.
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Re: Determining the origin of matter

Postby Watson on April 4th, 2018, 4:32 pm 

I don't know what Dr. Karl was saying or thinking of, but I expect he is referring to matter of today having a common history back to the BB. Mostly Hydrogen and Helium precipitated from the plasma of the Big Bang. The heavier elements formed and got blasted out in to the Universe at large in Super Novas. With common origins, it is not a surprise to find the parts and pieces of matter the same here as it is in far off places. This is a bit off topic, but you may find answers in there with other interesting bits. ... 180968312/
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