What is the origin of the chemical elements that make up our universe? Were they produced at the beginning or are they being produced all the time? Why is there so much iron in the earth and so little gold? These are some of the questions we will look at in this lecture. A surprising answer is that most of these elements are forged in stars or exploding stars like supernova.
To understand these processes we need to connect the very largest scales in the universe with the very tiniest as it is nuclear reactions taking place in stars that are believed to be the origins of the elements we find around us. We will learn how nuclear physicists can reproduce many of these reactions at accelerator laboratories worldwide such as CERN and explain in detail how the pattern of abundances of chemical elements comes about.