AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 63. Evolution of Chemical Abundances over Cosmic Time
Topical, Oral, Wednesday, June 2, 1999, 8:30-10:00am, 10:45am-12:30pm, 2:00-3:30pm, 3:45-5:30pm, Continental Ballroom A

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[63.08] Chemical Evolution Tomorrow

V.L. Trimble (U. California, Irvine)

My first review of abundances of the elements and chemical evolution was written slightly more than 25 years ago, when only four isotopic anomalies had ever been measured in meteorites, only massive stars made supernovae, the G dwarf problem had at least 17 solutions, and Beatrice Tinsley was alive and functioning as an irresistable force in the field. Much has changed (though the G dwarf problem still has at least 17 solutions, and I have dubbed the general phenomenon ``the curse" of the variable parameter). The talk will address both what might reasonably be expected to happen in studies of chemical evolution over the next 25 or so years and how the composition of the universe will change over the next few tens of Giga- years. Things I hope for, without necessarily being sure they will happen include a. isotopic anomalies will continue to proliferate, but eventually produce such a clear picture of which nuclear processes must be responsible that anybody with a periodic table in front of him will be able to sort out the patterns b. Several of our ``parameters" will become calculable processes, especially the initial mass function and (one of my pet peeves) the incidence and range of initial properties of binary systems, as a function of gas composition, turbulence, and so forth c. The average metallicity will increase sufficiently that life-bearing, terrestrial planets become common. d. All sorts of things that I haven't thought of yet, which will be suggested by the talks during the day.

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