“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/.
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!
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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?