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Public Lecture

Wednesday September 12th, 19:00-20:00

Professor Amanda Karakas will deliver a lecture entitled: Heavy Metals from Giant Stars. Entry for delegates and registered accompanying persons will be free on presentation of their conference badge, if space is available. Delegates will be advised of capacity earlier in the day.

While the chemical elements of Hydrogen and Helium were formed in the Big Bang at the starting point of our Universe, the heavier species were produced deep inside the stars in nuclear reactions. Through the combined fields of Physics & Astronomy humans have been able to determine the origin of the chemical species present in our Solar System. We know for example that most of the Oxygen in our atmosphere was created in ancient supernova explosions, which are the final phases of the lives of massive stars.

The Carbon in our bodies was made instead by stars covering a much wider range of stellar masses, from normal stars like our Sun through to the most massive stars. The biggest mystery today concerns the origins of the elements heavier than Iron.

In this talk, I will take you on a journey through the origin of the elements, with a special focus on where the heaviest species in nature are created. In order to do this, I will first discuss some of the basics about the life cycles of stars, which is intimately connected to the story of the origin of the chemical species.

Public Lecture Poster