Underground Study of Big Bang Nucleosynthesis in the Precision Era of Cosmology
INFN, Sezione di Roma, Piazzale A. Moro 2, 00185 Roma, Italy
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Published online: 23 March 2017
Big Bang Nucleosinthesis (BBN) theory provides definite predictions for the abundance of light elements produced in the early universe, as far as the knowledge of the relevant nuclear processes of the BBN chain is accurate. At BBN energies (30 ≲ Ecm ≲ 300 MeV) the cross section of many BBN processes is very low because of the Coulomb repulsion between the interacting nuclei. For this reason it is convenient to perform the measurements deep underground. Presently the world’s only facility operating underground is LUNA (Laboratory for Undergound Nuclear astrophysics) at LNGS (“Laboratorio Nazionale del Gran Sasso”, Italy). In this presentation the BBN measurements of LUNA are briefly reviewed and discussed. It will be shown that the ongoing study of the D(p, γ)3He reaction is of primary importance to derive the baryon density of universe Ωb with high accuracy. Moreover, this study allows to constrain the existence of the so called “dark radiation”, composed by undiscovered relativistic species permeating the universe, such as sterile neutrinos.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2017
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