1957 – UK
‘Most of the elements heavier than hydrogen in the universe are created, or synthesised in stars when lighter nuclei fuse to make heavier nuclei’
The Sun burns, or fuses, hydrogen to helium. This process occurs during most of every star’s lifetime. After a star exhausts its supply of hydrogen, the star burns helium to form beryllium, carbon and oxygen. When the star exhausts its supply of helium it shrinks and its temperature rises to 1000million degrees. The rising temperature triggers a new series of reactions in which carbon, oxygen and other elements combine to form iron and nickel. When the star has burned everything into iron and nickel, it explodes as a supernova. The elements heavier than nickel are formed during supernova explosions.
Hoyle proposed this theory in 1957. Hoyle, along with Thomas Gold and Herman Bondi, had also proposed the steady state theory of the origin of the universe in 1948.
- How the Sun Shines(nobelprize.org)