I believe friends are familiar with the periodic table of elements. There are 118 elements in it. Among these hundreds of elements, not all of them are natural elements, of which 94 are natural elements in the universe, and the other 24 are synthetic elements.
Scientists arranged these elements according to their mass. The first is hydrogen, the second is helium, the third is lithium, and then beryllium, boron, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, etc. Abundant elements constitute the material world of the universe, and 94 kinds of natural elements also exist on life planets such as the earth.
Scientists have synthesized 24 new elements through the power of science and technology, and with the continuous progress of human science and technology, it is possible that more new elements will be synthesized in the future. We will not discuss those synthetic elements, which are synthesized on the basis of the existence of natural elements. If there were no natural elements, there would be no artificial elements.
Rich elements are very important for an ecological planet, because they are the key to the birth of life. Only rich elements can evolve into early primitive life. Human beings are intelligent life on earth. Our human body contains a lot of elements, reaching more than 60 kinds, accounting for more than half of 94 kinds of natural elements.
The continuation of human life is inseparable from so many elements, the lack of any one will make our body appear all kinds of problems. Of course, these elements can be found in nature. Theoretically, the higher the periodic table, the more elements in the universe. For example, hydrogen ranks first, accounting for 70% of the elements in the universe,
However, among the top elements, three are named by the same name. They are rare in the universe. These three elements are lithium, which ranks third, beryllium, which ranks fourth, and boron, which ranks fifth. Theoretically speaking, these three elements are light elements, only heavier than hydrogen and helium, otherwise they would not be No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5.
In the periodic table of elements, the lower the ranking, the heavier the elements are, the less the content of nature should be, and the higher the content should be. It is a common element in the universe. But why are these three elements so rare? To solve this mystery, we need to analyze from the big bang to the formation of elements.
As we all know, the universe originated from the big bang of space-time singularity 13.8 billion years ago. This space-time singularity is equivalent to a super compression point with huge energy. After the singularity explosion, huge energy is released instantaneously. According to Einstein’s mass energy equation, we know that matter and energy are actually the same thing, just two forms of mass.
When the temperature is very high, the mass exists in the form of energy. The temperature inside the space-time singularity is naturally extremely high, and the matter in it can only exist in the form of energy. After the big bang, in a very short period of time, the energy bursts out, and at the same time, the universe also soars rapidly.
In the process of the skyrocketing of the universe, the temperature is also dropping, so the energy begins to transform into various particles of the early universe. Quarks, leptons, photons, gluons and antimatter particles are the earliest particles in the early universe. They synthesized the first atomic nuclei. Because of the high energy of photons, they can not synthesize the simplest nuclei, and can only be trapped in them.
Although this process is only ten minutes, it has laid the material foundation of the universe, forming 75% hydrogen, less than 2% helium-4, about 0.01% deuterium and helium-3, and about 0.000000 1% lithium. You’re right. A very small amount of lithium has been born in the early universe. Don’t underestimate it. It’s a very good thing for us.
Without this lithium element, the life form of human beings might not be the same as it is now, and lithium is also very important for the development of human science and technology, and it needs to be applied to many fields. With the expansion of the universe, the temperature continues to cool. After 300000 years, photons finally broke through the blockade and released.
The abundance of photons was so important to the evolution of the universe that early stars began to emerge. As we said above, only the most basic elements were formed in the early universe, of which hydrogen accounted for 75%. How did the more than 90 elements come from the universe? Here we have to offer another hero, that is stars.
The key of element transformation is temperature. Only at extremely high temperature can hydrogen be fused into helium, and helium can continue to be fused into other heavy elements. After the formation of the universe, such a high temperature environment is not available until the emergence of stars.
The interior of a star is like a huge nuclear fusion reactor. Its core temperature is very high, ranging from millions to hundreds of millions of degrees. Hydrogen in this high temperature environment, it is easy to occur fusion reaction into helium. When the hydrogen fuel is finished, the hydrogen fusion will slow down and stop. At this time, the core region will continue to shrink due to gravitational collapse, and the internal temperature will further increase significantly.
When the fusion of hydrogen and helium inside a star stops, a new fusion mode will start, and the helium element will continue to fuse into heavier elements. Stars with different masses can finally fuse and synthesize different kinds of elements. Stars like the sun can only synthesize element 6 carbon. Then the helium fusion completely ends, the outer layer breaks away, and the core collapses into a white dwarf.
However, for massive stars, the fusion reaction will continue to be more intense, the core will further collapse and heat up, and carbon nuclear fusion will be started to fuse carbon into oxygen, oxygen into neon, neon into magnesium, and so on. Silicon, sulfur, argon, calcium, titanium and chromium will be produced one after another until iron, nickel and cobalt.
This kind of nuclear fusion reaction is not enough to synthesize all 94 elements. When the massive stars come to the end, violent supernova explosions will occur. In this process, more important elements will continue to be synthesized. When the white dwarfs and neutron stars formed by the evolution of stars collide and fuse, they will also produce heavier elements.
From this, we can see that 94 elements naturally exist in the universe, and their appearance is basically related to stars. Through the birth process of these elements, we will find that lithium, beryllium and boron do not appear. Hydrogen fusion produces helium, helium fusion produces carbon, carbon fusion produces oxygen, but where are lithium, beryllium and boron?
Through research, scientists have found that these three elements cannot be synthesized in the fusion process of stars. If hydrogen is combined with helium, lithium-5 will be obtained, but it is extremely unstable and will decay soon. The same is true for the other two elements, which are extremely unstable even if they are barely synthesized and will soon decay. So the birth of these three elements can’t be achieved by the fusion of stars. How did they appear?
At present, scientists speculate that these three elements may be related to the source of the most advanced particles in the universe, and the main ones that can produce high-energy particles in the universe are pulsars, supermassive black holes, supernovae, thousand planets and active galaxies. As we all know, pulsars are also a kind of neutron stars, but pulsars are relatively special neutron stars, which can produce adjusted rotation and even close to the speed of light.
These high-energy particle sources can accelerate particles, eject cosmic particles from all directions of the universe, and particles may collide with other particles in the process of acceleration, which has a certain probability to produce lithium, beryllium and boron. Because their production depends on the collision of these high-energy particles in the universe, they are very rare, and they are indispensable elements of life on earth.
For human beings, we need these three elements too much, but their content in the universe is too low. What should we do? Maybe we have to rely on our constantly powerful technology. As long as our scientific and technological strength goes further, there may be a way to synthesize these three elements artificially. At that time, they will no longer be rare elements. Such rare elements also appear on the earth, from which we can see how extraordinary a planet the earth is.