Professor Brian Cox – teaching you GCSE Physics 2…
The Big Bang made hydrogen – but where did the other 91 natural chemical elements come from? These clips from the BBC’s Wonders of the Universe by Brian Cox answer the questions…
How do we know there are only 92 elements – even out in deep space?
All atoms give out only certain colours – a spectrum – based on how their electrons behave. They also absorb only those colours too. You might have seen this by doing flame tests or looking at gas discharge tubes using a spectroscope.
How did all these elements get made?
Every element in nature was made in stars, during their “life and death” by a process of nuclear fusion which gives out energy up to Iron (so these are made as stars live and die) but needs energy for heavier elements (which means these are made when a star explodes)
Not little stars like ours – but HUGE stars!!
Sources: BBC Wonders of the Universe