Primordial Nucleosynthesis: Constraints on the Birth of the Universe
Center for Astrophysics, Department of Physics, University of Notre Dame,
IN 46556 USA
2 School of Physics and Nuclear Energy Engineering, and International Research Center for Big-Bang Cosmology and Element Genesis, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, P.R. China
3 Theory Division, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, 1/AF, Bidhannagar, Kolkata- 64, India
4 National Astronomical Observatory of Japan 2-21-1 Osawa, Mitaka, Tokyo, 181-8588 Japan
5 Department of Astronomy, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-0033 Japan
* e-mail: email@example.com
Published online: 29 June 2018
We review the basic elements of big bang nucleosythesis (BBN) and how a comparison of predicted light-element abundances with observations constrains physics of the radiation-dominated epoch. We then summarize some applications of BBN and the cosmic microwave background (CMB) to constrain the first moments of the birth of the universe. In particular, we discuss how the existence of higher dimensions impacts the cosmic expansion through the projection of curvature from the higher dimension in the "dark radiation" term. We summarize current constraints from BBN and the CMB on this brane-world dark radiation term. At the same time, the existence of extra dimensions during the earlier inflation impacts the tensor to scalar ratio and the running spectral index as measured in the CMB. We summarize how the constraints on inflation shift when embedded in higher dimensions. Finally, one expects that the universe was born out of a complicated multiverse landscape near the Planck time. In these moments the energy scale of superstrings was obtainable during the early moments of chaotic inflation. We summarize the quest for cosmological evidence of the birth of space-time out of the string theory landscape. We will explore the possibility that a superstring excitations may have made itself known via a coupling to the field of inflation. This may have left an imprint of "dips" in the power spectrum of temperature fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background. The identification of this particle as a superstring is possible because there may be evidence for different oscillator states of the same superstring that appear on different scales on the sky. It will be shown that from this imprint one can deduce the mass, number of oscillations, and coupling constant for the superstring. Although the evidence is marginal, this may constitute the first observation of a superstring in Nature.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2018
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