28th September 2015

Have you ever wondered why we have beryllium on Earth?

Following Forbes journalist, Ethan Siegel, a NASA columnist and professor at Lewis & Clark College, the whole process of forming different elements started right after the Big Bang, when the universe had cooled enough to let the first Mendeleev’s elements come together. Yet, beryllium is not one of the “heavy” elements, thus it was not possible for it to be created along with others during the first minutes of the Universe expansion.

So, how does it actually happen that beryllium exists now? The unique process, known as spallation, is the only reason why this element can be found at all on our planet. Siegel states, that beryllium, along with the other “light” elements, is not made in stars, but comes into being as a result of the high energy particles emitted by “[…] the most energetic sources of particles in the Universe: black holes, neutron stars, supernovae and active galaxies”. Thanks to these cosmic catastrophes and their energy particles which once hit a heavier element and caused a blast, we have beryllium on Earth.

Beryllium is one of the rarest of all the light elements.

To read the full article, please click here.