Stellar Alchemy: The Celestial Origin of Atoms

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9780511541346: Stellar Alchemy: The Celestial Origin of Atoms

Why do the stars shine? What messages can we read in the light they send to us from the depths of the night? Nuclear astrophysics is a fascinating discipline, and enables connections to be made between atoms, stars, and human beings. Through modern astronomy, scientists have managed to unravel the full history of the chemical elements, and understand how they originated and evolved into all the elements that compose our surroundings today. The transformation of metals into gold, something once dreamed of by alchemists, is a process commonly occurring in the cores of massive stars. But the most exciting revelation is the intimate connection that humanity has with the debris of exploded stars. Stellar Alchemy is an engaging account of nucleosynthesis in stars, and the associated chemical evolution of the Universe, that is suitable for the general reader. Michel Cassé is an astrophysicist and the author of several books (in French) of astronomy for the general public.

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Book Description:

Why do the stars shine? When Cortez asked the Aztecs where they obtained the iron in their daggers, they pointed to the sky. They were right. It is the stars that manufacture iron, and every other element making up the familiar objects around us. The transformation of metals into gold, something once dreamed of by alchemists, is a process commonly occurring in the cores of massive stars. In this fascinating book Michel CassÚ explains how even humanity itself is connected to the debris of exploded stars.

About the Author:

Michel CassÚ is an astrophysicist at the Service d'Astrophysique in Saclay, France, and an associate research scientist at the Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris. He has published several other popular physics books in French.

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