Population II 6Li as a probe of nucleosynthesis and stellar structure and evolution

Gary Steigman, Brian D. Fields, Keith A. Olive, David N. Schramm, Terry P. Walker

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We discuss the importance of Population II 6Li as a diagnostic for models of primordial nucleosynthesis, cosmic-ray nucleosyntheses in the early Galaxy, and the structure and evolution of metal-poor solar-type stars. The observation of 6Li in the subdwarf HD 84937 is shown to be consistent with the existing Population II LiBeB data within the context of a simple three-component model: (1) standard big bang nucleosynthesis, (2) Population II cosmic-ray nucleosynthesis, (3) standard (nonrotating) stellar LiBeB depletion. If this interpretation is correct, we predict a potentially detectable boron abundance for this star: B/H ∼2 × 10-12. Subsequent Population II LiBeB observations, and in particular further observations of Population II 6Li, are shown to be crucial to our understanding of the primordial and early galactic creation and destruction mechanisms for light elements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L35-L38
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART 2
StatePublished - Sep 20 1993


  • Galaxies: abundances
  • Nuclear reactions, nucleosynthesis, abundances
  • Stars: abundances


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