Cosmological Recombination of Lithium and Its Effect on the Microwave Background Anisotropies
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CitationStancil, Phillip C., Abraham Loeb, Matias Zaldarriaga, Alexander Dalgarno, and Stephen Lepp. 2002. “Cosmological Recombination of Lithium and Its Effect on the Microwave Background Anisotropies.” The Astrophysical Journal 580 (1) (November 20): 29–35. doi:10.1086/343070.
AbstractThe cosmological recombination history of lithium, produced during big bang nucleosynthesis, is presented using updated chemistry and cosmological parameters consistent with recent cosmic microwave background (CMB) measurements. For the popular set of cosmological parameters, about a fifth of the lithium ions recombine into neutral atoms by a redshift z ~ 400. The neutral lithium atoms scatter resonantly the CMB at 6708 Å and distort its intensity and polarization anisotropies at observed wavelengths around ~300 μm, as originally suggested by Loeb. The modified anisotropies resulting from the lithium recombination history are calculated for a variety of cosmological models and found to result primarily in a suppression of the power spectrum amplitude. Significant modification of the power spectrum occurs for models that assume a large primordial abundance of lithium. While detection of the lithium signal might prove difficult, it offers the possibility of inferring the lithium primordial abundance and is the only probe proposed to date of the large-scale structure of the universe for z ~ 500-100.
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