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  7:30 pm, Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Fairmont Lounge, St. John's College

The Evolution of Stars and the Creation of the Elements

Erich Vogt

TRIUMF and the University of British Columbia

It is fifty years since we gained a basic outline of the processes in which a star evolves from a cloud of hydrogen, formed in the Big Bang, through various fusion reactions (in which many of our familiar elements are created), until its death throes in a final explosion - leaving either a white dwarf, a neutron star or a black hole. The end result depends on the initial mass of hydrogen - our Sun is an average star. We see that our Universe can appear to be very calm and full of wonder, but it is also subject to very violent events. In Vancouver, we have for the first time in the world a large new facility engaged in studying these processes: the new $100 M radioactive beam which has just been added to the TRIUMF cyclotron. I will explain present knowledge of these processes and their physics.

Additional resources for this talk: slides, video.