Production of lithium, beryllium, and boron from baryon inhomogeneous primordial nucleosynthesis

David Thomas, David N. Schramm, Keith A. Olive, Grant J. Mathews, Bradley S. Meyer, Brian D. Fields

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46 Scopus citations


We investigate the possibility that inhomogeneous nucleosynthesis may eventually be used to explain the abundances of 6Li, 9Be, and B in Population II stars. The present work differs from previous studies in that we have used a more extensive reaction network. It is demonstrated that in the simplest scenario the abundances of the light elements with A < 7 constrain the separation of inhomogeneities to sufficiently small scales that the model is indistinguishable from homogeneous nucleosynthesis and that the abundances of 6Li, 9Be, and B are then below observations by several orders of magnitude. This conclusion does not depend on the 7Li constraint. We also examine alternative scenarios which involve a post-nucleosynthesis reprocessing of the light elements to reproduce the observed abundances of Li and B, while allowing for a somewhat higher baryon density (still well below the cosmological critical density). Future B/H measurements may be able to exclude even this exotic scenario and further restrict primordial nucleosynthesis to approach the homogeneous model conclusions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-299
Number of pages9
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 20 1994


  • Nuclear reactions, nucleosynthesis, abundances
  • Stars: Population II


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