Physics Department Colloquia

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The Missing Metals in the Universe
Date: Friday, December 15th
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberbelin
Speaker: Joel Bregman, Univ. Michigan - Ann Arbor
Abstract: After the Big Bang nucleosynthesis period, H and He were present, but not significant amounts of heavier materials, such as C, N, O, Si, Fe, or Pb. These heavier elements, known collectively as “metals” to astronomers, were produced by several types of stars and stellar events, including low and high mass supernovae and the merger of neutron stars (kilonovae). The cosmic mass density of such metals is inferred from direct observations of supernovae and from the cosmic history of star formation. Previous observations to detect these metals in the local Universe find that 70-90% are unaccounted for (“missing metals”). This missing metals problem can be resolved if most of the metals lie in hot dilute gas surrounding galaxies and in the cosmic web. We discuss the detection of these metals in hot environments using X-ray astronomy and the tools needed for future observations.
Host: McCammon
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