“We are made of star stuff”
Bringing the stars into the laboratory to understand the origin of the elements
What Carl Sagan meant when he said, “We are made of star stuff”, is that every single atom of elements heavier than lithium – like the oxygen we breathe and the carbon that makes up our bodies – was created during the life and death of stars. Within the periodic table, we have a good understanding of how the elements from hydrogen to iron are produced, but the details of how the elements from iron to uranium came to be are still shrouded in mystery.
We’re getting closer to solving that mystery, however. The recent observation of a kilonova – an astronomical event involving the merger of two neutron stars – revealed that some heavy elements like gold and platinum can be produced in such destructive interstellar mergers. This event, observed by both traditional telescopes and the gravitational wave detectors LIGO and VIRGO, demonstrated the awesome power of multi-messenger astronomy, and the need to study the short-lived atomic nuclei produced in this cataclysmic event. Understanding these nuclei and the forces and mechanics that govern them may become the key to unlocking the mystery of how these heavy elements came to be.
Vancouver is home to one of the few facilities in the world capable of producing and studying these short-lived particles- TRIUMF, Canada’s particle accelerator centre. And, as part of TRIUMF’s 50th anniversary celebrations in 2018, this inaugural Unveiling the Universe lecture will summarize our current knowledge, the lab’s ongoing research, and the burning, yet-unanswered questions regarding the creation of elements in our universe.
Discover how TRIUMF has evolved over its 50-year history, from corralling stellar explosions to tuning into neutron-star collisions, to become a Canadian pioneer in studying the atomic nuclei and galactic events that give rise to the stardust we are all made of.
Doors open at 6:00 PM
Lecture begins at 7:00 PM
Q&A to follow
Do I need to bring a paper ticket?
No, once you've registered through Eventbrite your name is on the list, so you will just need a piece of ID with your name. To speed things up, bring your e-ticket on your phone or a printed copy of your ticket.
What if I registered but can no longer go?
We're sorry you cannot make it! Please cancel your free registration before the event. We always sell out quickly so this gives others a chance to reserve your tickets and allows us to better anticipate the amount of guests expected.
Will I get a seat if I just show up without registering?
We cannot promise a seat for walk-ins. However, at previous events we were able to seat walk-ins. If you are in the area, feel free to stop by!
Why is it first come, first serve? Why can't we reserve seating?
Science World does not have numbered seating therefore the first to show up will be seated in the theatre.