Stellar nucleosynthesis

Stellar nucleosynthesis is the creation (nucleosynthesis) of chemical elements by nuclear fusion reactions within stars

Stellar nucleosynthesis has occurred since the original creation of hydrogen, helium and lithium during the Big Bang. As a predictive theory, it yields accurate estimates of the observed abundances of the elements. It explains why the observed abundances of elements change over time and why some elements and their isotopes are much more abundant than others. The theory was initially proposed by Fred Hoyle in 1946 who later refined it in 1954. 

A version of the periodic table indicating the origins – including stellar nucleosynthesis – of the elements. Elements above 94 are manmade and are not included.. image: wikipedia/Cmglee


Further advances were made, especially to nucleosynthesis by neutron capture of the elements heavier than iron, by Margaret Burbidge, Geoffrey Burbidge, William Alfred Fowler and Hoyle in their famous 1957 B2FH paper, which became one of the most heavily cited papers in astrophysics history.