Model-independent predictions of big bang nucleosynthesis

Brian D. Fields, Keith A. Olive

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


We derive constraints from standard (with Nν = 3) BBN arising solely from two cosmologically produced nuclides, 4He and 7Li, from which the extrapolation to primordial abundances is straightforward. The abundances of D and 3He are at present only inferred from their solar and local interstellar medium values using models of galactic chemical evolution. However, our knowledge of chemical evolution suffers from large uncertainties, and so it is of use to take an approach which minimizes the reliance on chemical evolution in determining the consistency of BBN. Using only the data on 4He and 7Li, and reasonable estimates of possible systematic errors in their abundance determinations, concordance is found if the baryon-to-photon ratio lies in the range 1.4 < 1010η < 3.8 (95% CL). The 4He and 7Li abundances are also used to predict the primordial abundances D and 3He, which provides an initial condition for their chemical evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-111
Number of pages9
JournalPhysics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 25 1996

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Craig Copi, David Schramm,G ary Steigman, and for useful discussions, and we are especially grateful to Dave Thomas for his help with the calculations as well as helpful advice. This material is based upon work supportedb y the North Atlantic Treaty Organization under a Grant awardedi n 1994.T his work was supportedi n part by DOE grant DE-FG02-94ER40823.


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