The possibility that the so-called ''lithium problem'', i.e., the disagreement between the theoretical abundance predicted for primordial 7Li assuming standard nucleosynthesis and the value inferred from astrophysical measurements, can be solved through a non-thermal Big Bang Nucleosynthesis (BBN) mechanism has been investigated by several authors. In particular, it has been shown that the decay of a MeV-mass particle, like, e.g., a sterile neutrino, decaying after BBN not only solves the lithium problem, but also satisfies cosmological and laboratory bounds, making such a scenario worth to be investigated in further detail. In this paper, we constrain the parameters of the model with the combination of current data, including Planck 2015 measurements of temperature and polarization anisotropies of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), FIRAS limits on CMB spectral distortions, astrophysical measurements of primordial abundances and laboratory constraints. We find that a sterile neutrino with mass MS = 4.35-0.17+0.13 MeV (at 95% c.l.), a decay time τS = 1.8-1.3+2.5 · 105 s (at 95% c.l.) and an initial density S/cmb = 1.7-0.6+3.5 · 10-4 (at 95% c.l.) in units of the number density of CMB photons, perfectly accounts for the difference between predicted and observed 7Li primordial abundance. This model also predicts an increase of the effective number of relativistic degrees of freedom at the time of CMB decoupling ΔNeffcmb ≡ Neffcmb -3.046 = 0.34-0.14+0.16 at 95% c.l.. The required abundance of sterile neutrinos is incompatible with the standard thermal history of the Universe, but could be realized in a low reheating temperature scenario. We also provide forecasts for future experiments finding that the combination of measurements from the COrE+ and PIXIE missions will allow to significantly reduce the permitted region for the sterile lifetime and density.

Breaking Be: A sterile neutrino solution to the cosmological lithium problem

Pagano, L.;Lattanzi, M.;
2016

Abstract

The possibility that the so-called ''lithium problem'', i.e., the disagreement between the theoretical abundance predicted for primordial 7Li assuming standard nucleosynthesis and the value inferred from astrophysical measurements, can be solved through a non-thermal Big Bang Nucleosynthesis (BBN) mechanism has been investigated by several authors. In particular, it has been shown that the decay of a MeV-mass particle, like, e.g., a sterile neutrino, decaying after BBN not only solves the lithium problem, but also satisfies cosmological and laboratory bounds, making such a scenario worth to be investigated in further detail. In this paper, we constrain the parameters of the model with the combination of current data, including Planck 2015 measurements of temperature and polarization anisotropies of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), FIRAS limits on CMB spectral distortions, astrophysical measurements of primordial abundances and laboratory constraints. We find that a sterile neutrino with mass MS = 4.35-0.17+0.13 MeV (at 95% c.l.), a decay time τS = 1.8-1.3+2.5 · 105 s (at 95% c.l.) and an initial density S/cmb = 1.7-0.6+3.5 · 10-4 (at 95% c.l.) in units of the number density of CMB photons, perfectly accounts for the difference between predicted and observed 7Li primordial abundance. This model also predicts an increase of the effective number of relativistic degrees of freedom at the time of CMB decoupling ΔNeffcmb ≡ Neffcmb -3.046 = 0.34-0.14+0.16 at 95% c.l.. The required abundance of sterile neutrinos is incompatible with the standard thermal history of the Universe, but could be realized in a low reheating temperature scenario. We also provide forecasts for future experiments finding that the combination of measurements from the COrE+ and PIXIE missions will allow to significantly reduce the permitted region for the sterile lifetime and density.
2016
Salvati, L.; Pagano, L.; Lattanzi, M.; Gerbino, M.; Melchiorri, A.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2395860
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 9
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 11
social impact