n MNASSA : Monthly Notes of the Astronomical Society of South Africa - Primordial abundances : proceedings of the sixth symposium




The Universe's origin in a Big Bang was followed by rapid expansion and cooling. Protons and neutrons precipitated out of the cooling primeval fireball of elementary particles, and were able to fuse together by nucleosynthesis to produce light elements such as deuterium, helium and lithium. The abundances of these elements can be used to constrain models of the Big Bang. The primordial abundances have been modified by stellar nucleosynthesis. Observational determinations of abundances are beset by many problems, and extrapolating these values to a primordial abundance has several complications. The methods used to set limits on primordial abundances are discussed.


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