Friday, July 29, 2016

Lack of lithium in early Universe may be evidence for new particle

Explaining the lack of lithium in the universe is one of the challenges facing the Big Bang. The theory predicts that for every 10 billion atoms of hydrogen that formed during the period of nucleosynthesis, 5 atoms of lithium should have formed.

But observations only reveal 2 atoms of lithium per 10 billion of hydrogen. A new theory suggests that a hypothetical particle could have hindered the formation of lithium by affecting the formation and decay of beryllium (the next heaviest element).

Source & further reading:

The nuclear reactions that formed the first elements after the Big Bang.
Credit: Arizona State University

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