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Thread: Evolution of the elements

  1. #1 Evolution of the elements 
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    I have had something nagging me for years....

    My understanding is that all higher elements have evolved through a process within stars of basic fusion H + H = He.....

    And, if the timeline since unity (big bang) is 13 ish billion years, I cannot see there has been enough time.


    Our solar system is 4ish billion years old and all of the elements had to be availible at the begining of that process.

    And our sun still has another 4ish billion years before it spreads a new generation of elements to the cosmic mixing bowl.

    So that means for our type of sun, there is a need for 8ish billion years from starting with elements to deliver the next batch to the overall system.

    So if we work backwards 13(total years) - 4(age of sol) - 8(1 cycle) = 1 billion year....

    I know this is very rundimentary and there are many assumptions, I would just like to understand better so I can check this nagging question of the list.

    Gene


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    The first generation of stars were very masssive, and only lived a few million years. This has to do with the cooling efficiency of the gas cloud that forms it. Once that generation had spread the metals (in stellar terms, anything other than H and He is referred to as metals), the cooling was more efficient, so the stars were smaller and lived a few hundred million years. So within the first billion years of the Universe, we had pretty much been through 2 generations of stars spreading the other elements.
    So now, the solar system forming 8 billion years had far more "metals"

    That's a rough summary, I skipped over a lot of details, but it gives you the idea.

    Wayne.


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    I have not done the math but it still sounds like not enough time. The materials have to not only be formed but distributed over the whole universe at sub light speeds. I'm not challenging your data just expressing "mind booglement".
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    Forget not the Universe was smaller back then...
    And the first generation stars were all over the place.
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sealeaf View Post
    I have not done the math but it still sounds like not enough time. The materials have to not only be formed but distributed over the whole universe at sub light speeds. I'm not challenging your data just expressing "mind booglement".
    The new material only has to be spread a short distance within individual galaxies. Massive stars are going supernova all the time, seeding Giant Molecular Clouds with metals (anything heavier than helium). Within a few score million years and certainly within a couple of hundred million years there would be abundant heavier elements scattered throughout all galaxies. time is not an issue here.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by esr25555 View Post
    I have had something nagging me for years....

    My understanding is that all higher elements have evolved through a process within stars of basic fusion H + H = He.....
    And, if the timeline since unity (big bang) is 13 ish billion years, I cannot see there has been enough time.

    Our solar system is 4ish billion years old and all of the elements had to be available at the beginning of that process.
    And our sun still has another 4ish billion years before it spreads a new generation of elements to the cosmic mixing bowl.
    So that means for our type of sun, there is a need for 8ish billion years from starting with elements to deliver the next batch to the overall system.
    So if we work backwards 13(total years) - 4(age of sol) - 8(1 cycle) = 1 billion year....

    I know this is very rudimentary and there are many assumptions, I would just like to understand better so I can check this nagging question of the list.
    Gene
    I agree with you and others who think there was not enough time for the universe as we see it, to have formed the largest as well as some very old appearing galaxies as well as the observed abundance of all the elements.

    As others have pointed out, present theory asserts that there accordingly was a much higher percentage of super giant stars that created type II supernovas in the beginning, that existed only for millions of years instead of billions of years, before they exploded. This is where the elements heavier than iron were accordingly created. If the BB model is valid we should be able to start seeing such a great creation event now or in the near future with our long base-line radio and infrared scopes. It would seem that after the James Webb has been up for a few years, if they don't see any different proportion or type II supernova than we see now, then it would seem that there would be something wrong with the theory. Maybe the biggest theoretical problem with the BB model that will be observed first, would be the same proportion of very old appearing galaxies at the edge of the universe. This I believed will be almost impossible to explain away by the BB model without a major alteration of the theoretical age of the universe. Another ad hoc addendum to the model, I believe, will signal the beginning of the end of the BB model. We might have to wait until maybe the year 2020 before such problems with the BB model will become readily acknowledged. And I expect it will take much longer still before the BB model will be replaced since it is presently so well accepted, even if present distant observations do not change concerning their proportions.
    Last edited by forrest noble; December 20th, 2011 at 08:52 PM.
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forrest noble View Post
    I agree with you and others who think there was not enough time for the universe as we see it, to have formed the largest as well as some very old appearing galaxies as well as the observed abundance of all the elements.
    Personal incredulity is rarely a sound basis for discounting hypotheses. It's certainly never a scientific one.
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forrest noble View Post
    I agree with you and others who think there was not enough time for the universe as we see it, to have formed the largest as well as some very old appearing galaxies as well as the observed abundance of all the elements.
    Can you quantify this; for example, how much time would be required? Or how what abundance of higher elements would you predict after the generally accepted ~13b years?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by forrest noble View Post
    I agree with you and others who think there was not enough time for the universe as we see it, to have formed the largest as well as some very old appearing galaxies as well as the observed abundance of all the elements.
    Can you quantify this; for example, how much time would be required? Or how what abundance of higher elements would you predict after the generally accepted ~13b years?
    Hi Strange,

    Since according to present theory all elements heavier than iron stem primarily from the creation events of type II supernova, that if such events are not seen by the James Webb when it goes up, then accordingly where/when were all these supernova events? One could show a direct correlation of such events and the abundance of elements heavier than iron, concerning the BB model. An inadequate quantity of events based upon the most distant observations should correlate to equivalent cuts in all the elements heavier than iron.

    Such a lack of such observations in the future however, might be "dodged" by theorists claiming that such events probably occurred during a universe formation stage when such events would have been obscured for one reason or another But if we see the same number of such events then that we see now, then I do not think there would be a reasonable escape possibility for theorists, and I believe this would be direct evidence contrary to a universe of such a limited age.

    But I think the biggest related problem for any model concerning a universe age of only 13.7 billion years, would be the complication of the observed structures in universe such as huge galaxy clusters and voids, formed into web-like/ bubble like structures. How such structures could have formed based upon the BB model, I think, is speculative at best.
    Last edited by forrest noble; January 13th, 2012 at 01:03 PM.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Personal incredulity is rarely a sound basis for discounting hypotheses. It's certainly never a scientific one.
    I agree but hope my perspective concerning what I perceive to be observation based theoretical problems, are better explained in my above response to Strange .
    Last edited by forrest noble; January 15th, 2012 at 04:18 PM.
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  12. #11  
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    Our Sun is a 3rd [possibly 4th generation] star formed from the debiris of a previous stellar explosion which genereated a lot of heavier elements.

    It is exoected that the sun will produce all elements up to iron in the periodic table. Stars of greater mass tha the sun [ at least 1.4 times more ] may collapse into black holes but the preceding super nova explosion will 'punch' heavier elements into existance. So the first generation of stars to explode started off the process of converting the hydrogen into heavier elements. Your figures are based on assumed 8 billion year cycle but larger stars burn out much more quickly - in only a few million years therefore there has been more than enough time
    for all the elements to have emerged long before our solar system was formed
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