"Creation of the Elements or Where did Carbon come from?," colloquium March 4, 2011

Alex Rudolph, CSU Pomona    

The question of our origins can take many forms: Where was I born?, Where did my ancestors come from?, How did humans evolve?, How did life form?, How did the Earth and Solar System form?  This talk addresses one of the most fundamental questions possible: Where did the elements come from?  The story of the creation of the elements will be followed by a description of research I have conducted with undergraduates on measurements of elemental abundances in our own Milky Way galaxy, using techniques of infrared and radio astronomy.