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Published March 2001 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Applications of Abundance Data and Requirements for Cosmochemical Modeling


Understanding the evolution of the universe from Big Bang to its present state requires an understanding of the evolution of the abundances of the elements and isotopes in galaxies, stars, the interstellar medium, the Sun and the heliosphere, planets and meteorites. Processes that change the state of the universe include Big Bang nucleosynthesis, star formation and stellar nucleosynthesis, galactic chemical evolution, propagation of cosmic rays, spallation, ionization and particle transport of interstellar material, formation of the solar system, solar wind emission and its fractionation (FIP/FIT effect), mixing processes in stellar interiors, condensation of material and subsequent geochemical fractionation. Here, we attempt to compile some major issues in cosmochemistry that can be addressed with a better knowledge of the respective element or isotope abundances. Present and future missions such as Genesis, Stardust, Interstellar Pathfinder, and Interstellar Probe, improvements of remote sensing instrumentation and experiments on extraterrestrial material such as meteorites, presolar grains, and lunar or returned planetary or cometary samples will result in an improved database of elemental and isotopic abundances. This includes the primordial abundances of D, ^3He, ^4He, and ^7Li, abundances of the heavier elements in stars and galaxies, the composition of the interstellar medium, solar wind and comets as well as the (highly) volatile elements in the solar system such as helium, nitrogen, oxygen or xenon.

Additional Information

© 2001 American Institute of Physics. We thank the organizing committee of the SOHO/ACE Workshop held at the University of Bern, Switzerland, for bringing us together. This resulted in fruitful cross-disciplinary discussions, which we hope to be at least partly reflected in this contribution.

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