How did the heavier elements come into being?


One of the problems that plagued both theories of the evolution of the universe was how to explain the origin of atoms heavier than helium. Alpher and Herman were unable to do so using the Big Bang theory and Hoyle, Bondi, and Gold did not do any better with the Steady State theory.  That was when Fred Hoyle undertook a brilliant series of studies leading to the conclusion that the elements heavier than carbon were formed inside stars.
When astronomers say “we are made of star stuff,” they are talking about Fred Hoyle’s calculations showing that the high temperatures and pressures inside stars of various masses and at various stages of their lives were the likely source of all elements—including the elements that make up our bodies.  Hoyle also solved the most difficult problem of all, figuring out how hydrogen and helium inside stars could have formed the first atoms of carbon.  Hoyle’s solution involved predicting the existence of a new form of carbon, which was subsequently confirmed in a nuclear laboratory at Cal Tech.
Oddly enough, Fred Hoyle is credited with one other contribution to the debate between the two theories—he coined the term “Big Bang” to refer to his rivals’ idea during a BBC radio broadcast in 1950.  Summing up his views of the two theories he concluded the program by saying:
Now this Big Bang idea seemed to me to be unsatisfactory. . .  on scientific grounds this Big Bang assumption is much the less palatable of the two.  For it is an irrational process that cannot be described in scientific terms. . .  On philosophical grounds, too, I cannot see any reason for preferring the Big Bang idea.