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Session 31 - The Structure and Evolution of The Universe - I.
Topical, Oral session, Tuesday, June 09
This review will cover a mystery story. Actually, two mysteries of the Structure and Evolution of the Universe involving the history of the baryons and the chemical elements synthesized in the first stars. When did the gas and metals first form? How did they evolve to their current distribution? The original crime scene is unknown, but evidence has been collected in the diffuse intergalactic medium and in hot intracluster gas. In these scattered locales, large amounts of gas has accumulated, contaminated by heavy elements from the first stars. Unfortunately, some of the evidence has been destroyed by gravity. Also, the earliest quasars, massive stars, and supernovae altered the physical state of the gas and transported the elements far from the original scene. I will briefly review current observations and theories relevant to these processes and suggest ways in which future NASA missions could constrain the many speculative ideas on this subject.
Program listing for Tuesday