Saturday, September 8, 2012

Cosmic Lithium Discrepancy Puzzles Scientists

New Approach to Cosmic Lithium in the Early Universe

One of the four European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescopes (VLT) with the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds in the background. Notre Dame astrophysicists used the VLT to observe gas in the Small Magellanic Cloud to constrain the cosmic abundance of lithium. (Credit: ESO/B. Tafreshi (
ScienceDaily (Sep. 7, 2012) — Astrophysicists have explored a discrepancy between the amount of lithium predicted by the standard models of elemental production during the Big Bang and the amount of lithium observed in the gas of the Small Magellanic Cloud, a galaxy near to our own.

"The paper involves measuring the amount of lithium in the interstellar gas of a nearby galaxy, but it may have implications for fundamental physics, in that it could imply the presence of dark matter particles in the early universe that decay or annihilate one another," Howk says.


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