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Formation of Heavier Elements

H. Manishankar (KV Pattom) Asked

Question: Iron is the heaviest element that can be formed by nuclear reactions in a star.So how the heavier elements after iron were formed?And could there be further heavier elements out there in the cosmos?

Answer:

Nuclear fusion inside a star is not the only process my which new elements are created. There are many others too.

During a supernova explosion many unpredictable nuclear transmutations occur, fusing elements and forming heavier elements.

But however, the amount of elements heavier than iron is less.

It’s a good idea to think back (say from the time of BigBang)

Every explosion has a consequent implosion resulting in creation of heavier elements

Remember that birth and death of stars are taking place everyday in some part or other of the universe. The earlier stars had relatively lighter elements in their core. As they die, the remains form part of other stars and other celestial bodies thereby forming heavier elements in the universe.

(I don’t claim that this is a complete answer. Visitors are requested to suggest amendments to this Answer via comments)

KVPY Interview – How to Prepare?

First of all, hearty congratulations to all those who qualified for the KVPY (Kishore Vygyanik Protsahan Yojna) interview.

Results of the Aptitude Test held on 31st October 2010
    • List of students shortlisted under Stream SA
    • List of students shortlisted under Stream SB
    • List of students shortlisted under Stream SB/SX

Found your name in the selection list?

The next step is interview. The weightage for interview is 50%

As KVPY is installed to promote research, your research aptitude and observational skills will help you to excel in the interview. I suggest the following for preparing for the interview.

  • Revise your basics.  (Especially the basic Mathematical methods and procedures)
  • Think critically on what you’ve learnt and read.
  • Keep abreast with latest developments in science and technology. Read international science publications like Nature, New Scientist etc from University Library, British Library, Public Library etc. (KV Pattom Library also has a good collection of Indian journals – like Resonance)
  • Analyze your interest and find in which field and if possible, on which topic, you would be interested to do research. If you can decide, make an extensive background study of the topic to find what all researches have already been undertaken in the field and what are the findings and what are the scope of doing research in that area. Note down your findings and observations and if your mind permits, try writing a research paper.

Boost confidence, believe in yourself, do regular preparation, Wish you all the best.

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