Saturday, September 25, 2010

You are made from the STUFF of STARS

We are all connected ...


Virtually all of the elements we see on the Periodic Table were made at some point during the life and death of a star. Only hydrogen, helium, and lithium were created in a different way, i.e., they were created as a result of the Big Bang explosion.

So how does a star make the elements heavier than lithium?

A star's energy comes from combining light elements into heavier elements in a process known as fusion, or "nuclear burning". It is generally believed that most of the elements in the universe heavier than helium were created in stars when lighter nuclei fuse to make heavier nuclei. The process is called nucleosynthesis.

Nucleosynthesis requires a high-speed collision, which can only be achieved with very high temperature. The minimum temperature required for the fusion of hydrogen is 5 million degrees. Elements with more protons in their nuclei require still higher temperatures. For instance, fusing carbon requires a temperature of about one billion degrees! Most of the heavy elements, from oxygen up through iron, are thought to be produced in stars that contain at least ten times as much matter as our Sun.

Our Sun is currently burning, or fusing, hydrogen to helium. This is the process that occurs during most of any star's lifetime. After the hydrogen in the star's core is exhausted, the star can fuse helium to form progressively heavier elements, carbon and oxygen and so on, until iron and nickel are formed.

Up to this point, the fusion process releases energy. The formation of elements heavier than iron and nickel requires an input of energy.

Supernova explosions result when the cores of massive stars have exhausted their fuel supplies and burned everything into iron and nickel. The nuclei with masses heavier than nickel are observed to be formed during these explosions. ( High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director)

So indeed - we are all made out of star stuff!

Four ways it really matters:

or a different perspective... ( without plasma )

So.... what did you learn?

How can you demonstrate your understanding of Matter .........?


  1. Hey Mr. V, I thought that the Crab Supernova explosion was gorgeous! I was my favorite out of all the videos you put up...can you see a Crab Supernova on Earth without a telescope? I could demonstrate my understanding of matter is that everything around us consists of matter (which is a solid, liquid, or gas, which was demonstrated in the cartoon video). I used to think that matter only made up solids, not liquids and gases until I saw that cartoon.
    -Kaitlyn Cassady; Yellow.

  2. YOU pretty much need a telescope today... but not always... About 10 light-years (ly) across, the Crab Nebula is the remnant of a supernova explosion that was seen on Earth beginning on July 4th, 1054 CE. Recorded as a "guest star" by Chinese astronomers, it was visible with the naked eye for 23 days in daylight and 653 nights before fading from view. The explosion that created the nebula was described as yellow in color by Yang Wei-te, the court astronomer (astrologer) to the Sung emperor. It also may be the basis of two Anasazi Indian petroglyphs found in the U.S. southwest. Observers in the Solar System now view the Crab as it appeared nearly a thousand years after the supernova that produced it. Not surprising, its name derives from the resemblance of the nebula during the 19th Century to that of a crab's claw. The nebula is located about 6,000 light-years (ly) from Sol in the northeast corner of Constellation Taurus, the Bull --

  3. I learned that there is a fourth form of matter. Plasma. Plasma is when the molecules of a substance exspand so far that they are no longer connected (from what i understand). I also learned that little lumps is latin for molecule. I liked the glossary that the webpage navigated to when you clicked on one of the underlined words near the top of the page. I found that the cartoon video on the forms of matter was easier for me to understand than the first video. I have a question on the Big Bang Exsplosion. I havent really lesrned about it because I was enrolled in private school up unitil last year. I would love for you to inform me on this subject sometime this week during class or in your reply to this comment. :)

    - Savanah Yellow

  4. Mr V, did you get my first comment? Because when i was sending it, it said error the first few times and then it finnaly submitted. If not then I will type it again.
    - Savanah Yellow

  5. Mr V, I have a question. What are cosmos?
    - Savanah Yellow

  6. Savannah you have posted some great comments and questions .. WE WILL study the Big Bang ...promise!

    Keep watching the blog for more on this topic.

    Cosmos is a Latin word from the Greek word "kosmos"

    which means an orderly and harmonious universe that is understandable and predictable ...

    ... quite the opposite of Chaos ( kaos ) a disorderly, unpredictable universe.

  7. Hey mr.v um i am in your forth period and i read 34-50 and took notes do i still do the questions for the end of each section or do i not. And i took some more notes from the video you put to. I was just wondering because me and zac finished and started the poster. :)

  8. If you did the reading and took notes for today's class you do not have to do the Q and A.

    Good on ya!

  9. okay thank you. I was confused if it was the class or just the ones who didnt do it! Thank you! Oh and i forgot Sabrina/yellow! LOL! :)

  10. So where does GOD fit into this theory?

  11. The video abot star stuff was really cool and nice shirt you were wearing that said star stuff. The crab supernova exploding was really cool i whatched that video several times. The rusty nails project we are supposed to be doing it at home right. If we were i did and my nails are sitting right next to me in the water. Charles scott, green

  12. Please remember to identify yourself by first name and class color.

    As I am sure you remember The Concptual physic text describes different ways for Human Understanding of the Universe - examples were science, art, religion. Some utilize differing methodologies.

    As the text relates for example,

    "Religion is about cosmic purpose; science is about cosmic order."

  13. I always knew Plasma was part of the states of matter. I just never knew much about it until I saw that video. Thanks!
    -Justin, Blue

  14. I think the idea that all things are composed of atoms is great. The only question i have is why the nucleus atoms of a plasma wont stick together?
    Would it be all of the positive charges or what?


  15. Paul, The nucleus holds together .. it is the electrons that are stripped away from their atomic attractions +/-(the "weak nuclear force")

  16. Mr. V, What i really liked about the videos is that they made it interesting to learn about matter. I liked the the second one the best because of the animation.There are 4 states of matter solids, liquid, gas,and plasma. solids
    have a fixed positon and collide only with there close neighbors. Liquids have definite volume assume the shape of there container they also slip past and collide with near neighbors. Gases take shape of the containers and only changes direction if it collides with the container or if they collide with each other. Plasma is super heated gas stripped of its electrons. Thank you for the video and making it interesting. Zach/yellow

  17. Way to go Zach, You are now making good connections between class work, textbooks, and the many different ways to learn! (see your post on motion for my points response)


    Check this one out

    Colleen Blue Period:6

  19. Colleen, what a Great Find!! Thank you, I had not seen this one.

    That's truly a demonstration of Mastery.

    Put three(3) in the bonus box