# Combining of iron nuclei

Iron is the most stable single element in nature(I don't know about combinations of elements, but oh well, not applicable to question). Stars go through cycles where they change the materials of their cores, culminating in iron for the longest lasting and largest stars. The cores of stars naturally have tremendous forces. My question: Has humanity managed to combine two iron nuclei together? and if yes why can we do it but not stars? Alternatively, where would the progression past iron nuclei go, since no element is more stable?

• Note that the heavier fusion reactions in star cores do not fuse two nuclei of the same kind. Instead, they proceed via the alpha process, which fuses a helium nucleus with a heavier nucleus. Eg, carbon + helium $\to$ oxygen. – PM 2Ring May 6 at 22:17