The primordial abundance of Li as predicted by Big Bang Nucleosynthesis (BBN) is more than a factor 2 larger than what has been observed in metal-poor halo stars. Herein, we analyze the possibility that this discrepancy originates from incorrect assumptions about the nuclear reaction cross sections relevant for BBN. To do this, we introduce an efficient method to calculate the changes in the 7Li abundance produced by arbitrary (temperature dependent) modifications of the nuclear reaction rates. Then, considering that 7Li is mainly produced from 7Be via the electron capture process 7Be + e --> 7Li + nu_e, we assess the impact of the various channels of 7Be destruction. Differently from previous analysis, we consider the role of unknown resonances by using a complete formalism which takes into account the effect of Coulomb and centrifugal barrier penetration and that does not rely on the use of the narrow resonance approximation. As a result of this, the possibility of a nuclear physics solution to the 7Li problem is significantly suppressed.

Reducing the space for a nuclear physics solution of the cosmic 7Li problem

VILLANTE, FRANCESCO LORENZO
2012

Abstract

The primordial abundance of Li as predicted by Big Bang Nucleosynthesis (BBN) is more than a factor 2 larger than what has been observed in metal-poor halo stars. Herein, we analyze the possibility that this discrepancy originates from incorrect assumptions about the nuclear reaction cross sections relevant for BBN. To do this, we introduce an efficient method to calculate the changes in the 7Li abundance produced by arbitrary (temperature dependent) modifications of the nuclear reaction rates. Then, considering that 7Li is mainly produced from 7Be via the electron capture process 7Be + e --> 7Li + nu_e, we assess the impact of the various channels of 7Be destruction. Differently from previous analysis, we consider the role of unknown resonances by using a complete formalism which takes into account the effect of Coulomb and centrifugal barrier penetration and that does not rely on the use of the narrow resonance approximation. As a result of this, the possibility of a nuclear physics solution to the 7Li problem is significantly suppressed.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11697/11625
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