Published in Handbook of Nuclear Chemistry, by Vertes, Attila; Nagy, Sandor; Klencsar, Zoltan; Lovas, Rezso G.; Rosch, Frank, ISBN 978-1-4419-0719-6. Springer Science+Business Media B.V., 2011, p. 611.

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ORIGIN OF THE CHEMICAL ELEMENTS

T. Rauscher 1 & A. Patkós 2


1 Department of Physics, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
2 Department of Atomic Physics, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary


Abstract: This chapter provides the necessary background from astrophysics, nuclear, and particle physics to understand the cosmic origin of the chemical elements. It reflects the year 2008 state of the art in this extremely quickly developing interdisciplinary research direction. The discussion summarizes the nucleosynthetic processes in the course of the evolution of the Universe and the galaxies contained within, including primordial nucleosynthesis, stellar evolution, and explosive nucleosynthesis in single and binary systems.


Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

CREATION AND EARLY EVOLUTION OF MATTER IN THE UNIVERSE
Evolution of the energy density in the early Universe
Observations of CMBR
Inflationary interpretation of the CMBR
Dark Matter: indications, candidates and signals
Dark energy, the accelerating Universe, and the problem of distance measurements
Origin of the matter-antimatter asymmetry
Evolution of the expanding Universe
Gravitational clustering of matter

PRIMORDIAL NUCLEOSYNTHESIS
Weak decoupling
The reaction network and the production process of nucleosynthesis
Comparison of calculations and observed primordial abundances

STELLAR NUCLEOSYNTHESIS
Stellar evolution
Birth of stars
Hertzsprung-Russel diagram
Supernova explosions
Core collapse supernovae
Hydrogen burning: proton-proton chain, CNO cycle
Helium burning: nucleosynthesis of carbon and oxygen
Advanced burning stages
Nucleosynthesis beyond Fe
The main and weak s-process components
Explosive nucleosynthesis in the outer layers of a massive star
Explosive burning in the deep layers of a massive star
Nucleosynthesis by spallation

NUCLEOSYNTHESIS IN BINARY STAR SYSTEMS
General considerations
Novae
Type Ia supernovae
X-ray bursts and the rp-process
Neutron star mergers

THE ABUNDANCE OF ELEMENTS IN THE UNIVERSE
Experiments and observations
Solar abundances
Meteoritic inclusions
Galactical chemical evolution: putting it all together

REFERENCES

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