Nucleosynthesis Hydrogen Helium

Click "Play" to see how heavier elements are synthesized.

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Massive red giants are also able to make small amounts of elements heavier than iron (up to mercury and lead) through a slower combination of neutrons with heavy nuclei but supernovae and merging neutron stars probably generate the majority of elements heavier than iron and nickel (and certainly those heavier than lead up to uranium).

Click the play buttons that appear to advance the animation.

The graph below represents the abundances of the lightest elements during the first three hours after the Big Bang.

In the cores of stars, in supernova explosions, and merging neutron stars, new atoms are manufactured from nuclear fusion reactions.

You will find out where the hydrogen and most of the helium atoms came from in the cosmology chapter.


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