Primary nucleosynthesis is defined as that which occurs efficiently in stars born of only H and He. It is responsible not only for increasing the metallicity of the galaxy but also for the most abundant gamma-ray-line emitters. Astrophysicists have inappropriately cited early work in this regard. The heavily cited B2FH paper (Burbidge et al., 1957) did not effectively address primary nucleosynthesis whereas Hoyle (Hoyle, 1954) had done so quite thoroughly in his infrequently cited 1954 paper. Even B2FH with Hoyle as coauthor seems strangely to not have appreciated what Hoyle (Hoyle, 1954) had achieved. I speculate that Hoyle must not have thoroughly proofread the draft written in 1956 by E.M. and G.R. Burbidge. The clear roadmap of primary nucleosynthesis advanced in 1954 by Hoyle describes the synthesis yielding the most abundant of the radioactive isotopes for astronomy, although that aspect was unrealized at the time. Secondary nucleosynthesis has also produced many observable radioactive nuclei, including the first gamma-ray-line emitter to be discovered in the galaxy and several others within stardust grains. Primary gamma-ray emitters would have been even more detectable in the early galaxy, when the birth rate of massive stars was greater; but secondary emitters, such as 26Al, would have been produced with smaller yield then owing to smaller abundance of seed nuclei from which to create them.
New Astronomy Reviews
- Pub Date:
- October 2008
- Explosive burning in supernovae shock fronts;
- Dust processes;
- Chemical composition and chemical evolution