We present a Monte Carlo method for direct incorporation of nuclear inputs in primordial nucleosynthesis calculations. This method is intended to remedy shortcomings of the current error estimation, by eliminating intermediate data evaluations and working directly with experimental data, allowing an error estimation based solely on published experimental uncertainties. This technique also allows the simple incorporation of new data and reduction of errors with the introduction of more precise data. The application of our method indicates that previous error estimates on the calculated abundances were too large by as much as a factor of 3. Since uncertainties in the BBN calculation currently dominate inferences drawn from light-element abundances, the reestimated errors have important consequences for cosmic baryon density, neutrino physics, and lithium depletion in halo stars. Our direct method allows a detailed discussion of the status of the nuclear inputs by identifying clearly the places where improved cross section measurements would be most useful.
Physical Review D
- Pub Date:
- June 2000
- Origin formation and abundances of the elements;
- Big Bang nucleosynthesis;
- 20 pages, 17 figures, accepted for publication in Physical Review D