Catalyzed Big Bang Nucleosynthesis and the properties of charged relics in the early universe




Koopmans, Kristen Alanna

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The existence of charged electroweak-scale particles in the early universe can drastically affect the evolution of elemental abundances. Through the formation of Coulombic bound states with light nuclei, these exotic relic particles (hereafter referred to as X–) act to catalyze nuclear reactions by reducing their threshold energies. This thesis examines the properties of the X– bound states, and uses primordial element observations to constrain the abundance, lifetime, and mass of this exotic particle species. If the X– is a Dirac Fermion, its abundance relative to baryons is found to be YX- ~ 0.01, with a lifetime of 1500s ≤ τX- ≤ 3000s, and a mass of order 100 GeV. Assuming that the X– is a Scalar particle that decays into gravitinos, the resulting bounds become, 5x10-4 ≤ YX- ≤ 0.07, 1600s ≤ τX- ≤ 7000s, and 60GeV ≤ mX- ≤ 1000GeV. These ranges are consistent with Dark Matter constraints.



Particle Physics, Phenomenology, Cosmology, Early Universe, Super Symmetry, Nucleosynthesis