During its early evolution the Universe provided a laboratory to probe fundamental physics at high energies. Relics from those early epochs, such as the light elements synthesized during primordial nucleosynthesis when the Universe was only a few minutes old, and the cosmic background photons, last scattered when the protons (and alphas) and electrons (re)combined some 400 thousand years later, may be used to probe the standard models of cosmology and of particle physics. The internal consistency of primordial nucleosynthesis is tested by comparing the predicted and observed abundances of the light elements, and the consistency of the standard models is explored by comparing the values of the cosmological parameters inferred from primordial nucleosynthesis with those determined by studying the cosmic background radiation.
Light Elements in the Universe
- Pub Date:
- April 2010
- cosmology: early universe;
- cosmological parameters;
- Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics
- 8 pages, 4 figures, version appearing in the Proceedings of IAU Symposium No. 268, Light Elements in the Universe (C. Charbonnel, M. Tosi, F. Primas, C. Chiappini, eds.