Contrary to a common argument that a small increase in the strength of the strong force would lead to destruction of all hydrogen in the big bang due to binding of the diproton and the dineutron with a catastrophic impact on life as we know it, we show that provided the increase in strong force coupling constant is less than about 50% substantial amounts of hydrogen remain. The reason is that an increase in strong force strength leads to tighter binding of the deuteron, permitting nucleosynthesis to occur earlier in the big bang at higher temperature than in the standard big bang. Photodestruction of the less tightly bound diproton and dineutron delays their production to after the bulk of nucleosynthesis is complete. The decay of the diproton can, however, lead to relatively large abundances of deuterium.
Physical Review D
- Pub Date:
- August 2009
- Big Bang nucleosynthesis;
- Origin and formation of the Universe;
- Astrophysics - Cosmology and Extragalactic Astrophysics
- 13 figures