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Ordinary Meeting: Using Stellar Fossils to Investigate the Origin of Elements in the Universe

Friday 8th September 2017 - 8:00pm
Topic: Using Stellar Fossils to Investigate the Origin of Elements in the Universe
Speaker: Dr Devika Kamath (AAO / Macquarie University)
Venue: Epping Creative Centre - 26 Stanley Road, Epping
Abstract: The quest for the cosmic sites that produced the elements in the Universe is fundamental to modern science because it underpins the origin of life and ultimately the origins of the Universe. Hydrogen and most of the Helium that exists in the Universe were created during the Big Bang. Elements from carbon to iron are made by nuclear fusion reactions inside stars. Stars come in several flavours: differing in their total mass, initial composition at birth, and whether they evolve as single systems; like our Sun, or with a partner. The element production in stars depends not only on its flavour but also its age. My research involves understanding this stellar alchemy using ‘stellar fossils’. By observing old stars, we can reconstruct the life of a star and rebuild the history of element production that occurred during their lives. In this talk, I will present some of our interesting results and the implications they have on understanding element production in the Universe.
Biography: I am Dr. Devika Kamath. I obtained my Ph.D in Astrophysics from the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics (RSAA), ANU, Canberra. My Ph.D thesis revolves around understanding the late stages of stellar evolution and nucleosynthesis in the most ideal cosmological nuclear reactors: low- and intermediate-mass stars. Subsequently, I was awarded a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Institute of Astronomy, KU Leuven, Belgium. Currently, I am in joint faculty position as a Lecturer in Astrophysics at the Research Centre for Astronomy, Astrophysics & Astrophotonics, Macquarie University and the Australian Astronomical Observatory.

Event Date: 
Friday, 8 September, 2017 - 20:00
Epping Creative Centre, 26 Stanley Road, Epping NSW

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