“A physicist is just an atom’s way of looking at itself.” –Niels Bohr

There’s a wonderful story that the Universe tells us about itself: the story of where everything in it came from, and how it came to be this way. From the perspective of a human being, there’s possibly no component of that as important to our existence as the humblest of all building blocks: the atoms.

Image credit: (c) Theodore W. Gray, from http://periodictable.com/.

Image credit: (c) Theodore W. Gray, from http://periodictable.com/.

Yet when the Universe first cooled from the Big Bang, over 99.999999% of what existed was nothing more than hydrogen and helium. So where did the atoms that make us up come from?

This sounds like a job for our Genesis series, so check out episode 4: Atoms!

Comments

  1. #1 david hurn
    United Kingdom
    January 5, 2015

    How important was the dark matter (or whatever is causing its effect) in forming the seeds for collapsing stars,or can this be caused by quantum fluctuations alone?

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