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Producing elements beyon iron?

  1. Sep 29, 2012 #1
    A friend wrote this in an exchange we had about iron and its role in the process of fusion. I question the last sentence. Is it right, and what is the "coating"?

    The creation of the element iron via fusion "is the final peal of a star's natural life" (if the star is massive enough to even get that far -- stars can peter out long before they reach the iron stage if the star is not massive enough to begin with) . After burning down through all the elements up to iron, these stars burn down to iron cores in about one earth day. And then, suddenly lacking the energy to fuse to higher elements and to keep their full volume, they implode under immense gravity and then rebound by exploding outward into an immense supernova. It is in this process that the remaining elements are born by coating iron nuclei with neutrons, some of which decay back into protons thereby creating new elements.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 29, 2012 #2


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    This is called the r-process. But, it's not just iron nuclei that get neutron enriched by this process.
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