Home » News & Blogs » Cosmic soup for the soul
Bookmark and Share
Dark Energy Detectives

Cosmic soup for the soul

7 Jan 2015, 20:07 UTC
Cosmic soup for the soul
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Amidst the dark forces and energies at work across the cosmos, a fire brews, a soup simmers.
The expansion history of the Universe is dominated by dark matter and dark energy. However, it is the elements in the periodic table that allow us to study and understand that history. In this posting we give a flavor for how the cosmic soup of elements came into existence.
Almost all the elements came into existence within 30 minutes of the Big Bang. The resulting broth was rather dull: 9 hydrogen nuclei (one proton) to every helium nucleus (two protons) and almost nothing of anything else. Even if you sifted through a billion nuclei you’d still be lucky enough to find anything as tasty as lithium (three protons).
Fortunately, over the intervening 13.7 billion years, the cosmic soup has become a little more interesting. Nuclear fusion – so hard to reproduce on Earth – is common place in stars: we have fusion to thank for the carbon in our cells, to the iron in our blood.
The flavor, density and temperature of the element soup varies widely. Consider our own Solar system: from the extreme pressures and temperatures inside the Sun’s core, to ...

Latest Vodcast

Latest Podcast

Advertise PTTU

NASA Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

astronomy_pod