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150 Years of the Periodic Table

November 7 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


The Origins of the Elements

A Gresham College lecture by Dr Stephen Wilkins

In this talk, which coincides with the UNESCO International Year of the Periodic Table, Dr Wilkins discusses the astrophysical origins of the chemical elements, almost all of which have an origin ranging from the big bang, to exploding white dwarfs, the collapse of massive stars, and the merger of ultra-compact objects, neutron stars.

This final mechanism is responsible for many of the heaviest and rarest elements including gold, silver, and uranium, and was only recently confirmed through observations of a merger event first identified using gravitational waves.

Dr Stephen Wilkins is a Senior Lecturer in Astronomy at the University of Sussex.

No reservations are required for this free event, which takes place in the lecture hall of the Museum of London. It is run on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.

Doors open 30 minutes before the start of the lecture.

Details of lecture

Gresham College was founded in 1597 under the will of Sir Thomas Gresham, and has been providing free lectures within the City of London for over 400 years. It was the first ‘university’ in England besides Oxford and Cambridge, making it London’s oldest higher education institution still in existence today. It does not enrol any students, and awards no degrees.

The College has been recording its lectures since the 1980s and there are now over 1,900 lectures freely available online in text, audio or video formats. The provision of this free online archive of lectures aligns with its founding principles of accessible free education for all.


November 7
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Gresham College


Museum of London
150 London Wall
London, EC2Y 5HN United Kingdom
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020 7001 9844