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Where did atoms originally form?

I am studying the Big Bang and trying to make sense of it. Is there research or ideas on how atoms initially formed? Has there been experiments done starting with basic subatomic particles to create a Hydrogen atom, for example? I know we can take existing atoms and smash them together to form higher-order atoms. The question is: Is there an existing level of research addressing (new) Atomic Synthesis?

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    Oct 21 2013: A particle physicist I know well has mentioned Steven Weinberg's short book The First Three Minutes as a good introduction to the beginning of the Universe. You might include that in your research.
    • Oct 22 2013: I will check that out. Thanks!

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