Using the recent WMAP determination of the baryon-to-photon ratio, [Formula Presented] to within a few percent, big bang nucleosynthesis (BBN) calculations can make relatively accurate predictions of the abundances of the light element isotopes which can be tested against observational abundance determinations. At this value of [Formula Presented] the [Formula Presented] abundance is predicted to be significantly higher than that observed in low metallicity halo dwarf stars. Among the possible resolutions to this discrepancy are (1) [Formula Presented] depletion in the atmosphere of stars, (2) systematic errors originating from the choice of stellar parameters—most notably the surface temperature, and (3) systematic errors in the nuclear cross sections used in the nucleosynthesis calculations. Here, we explore the last possibility, and focus on possible systematic errors in the [Formula Presented] reaction, which is the only important [Formula Presented] production channel in BBN. The absolute value of the cross section for this key reaction is known relatively poorly both experimentally and theoretically. The agreement between the standard solar model and solar neutrino data thus provides additional constraints on variations in the cross section [Formula Presented] Using the standard solar model of Bahcall, and recent solar neutrino data, we can exclude systematic [Formula Presented] variations of the magnitude needed to resolve the BBN [Formula Presented] problem at the [Formula Presented] C.L., or more strongly, depending on the Li observations used. Additional laboratory data on [Formula Presented] will sharpen our understanding of both BBN and solar neutrinos, particularly if care is taken in determining the absolute cross section and its uncertainties. Nevertheless, it is already clear that this “nuclear fix” to the [Formula Presented] BBN problem is unlikely; other possible solutions are briefly discussed.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology|
|State||Published - 2004|