QR4.6 The Evolution of Matter

People once thought we were created as we are now by God, until science discovered that we evolved from other life forms over millions of years. Particle models implicitly assume that matter always was but cosmology suggests that the atoms of the periodic table also evolved in a process called nucleosynthesis. This building-up of complex atoms from simple ones occurs in stars and supernovae and is ongoing today. Without this grand evolution of matter, the periodic table of elements (Figure 4.21) would not exist and neither would we. This section suggests that the evolution of matter is the evolution of stability.

QR4.6.1 Nuclear Evolution

QR4.6.2 Particles Can’t “Orbit” an Atom

QR4.6.3 The Evolution of Electron Shells

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Figure 4.21. The Periodic Table