David N. Schramm

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The last parameter of big-bang nucleosynthesis, the baryon density, is being pinned down by measurements of the deuterium abundance in high-redshift hydrogen clouds. When it is determined, it will fix the primeval light-element abundances. D, 3 He and 7 Li will become " tracers " for the study of Galactic and stellar chemical evolution, and big-bang(More)
We present a pedagogical and phenomenological introduction to the study of cosmic microwave background (CMB) polarization to build intuition about the prospects and challenges facing its detection. Thomson scattering of temperature anisotropies on the last scattering surface generates a linear polarization pattern on the sky that can be simply read off from(More)
For almost 30 years, the predictions of big-bang nucleosynthesis have been used to test the big-bang model to within a fraction of a second of the bang. The agreement between the predicted and observed abundances of deuterium, helium-3, helium-4, and lithium-7 confirms the standard cosmology model and allows accurate determination of the baryon density,(More)
We examine the possibility that a nearby supernova explosion could have caused one or more of the mass extinctions identified by paleontologists. We discuss the possible rate of such events in the light of the recent suggested identification of Geminga as a supernova remnant less than 100 parsec (pc) away and the discovery of a millisecond pulsar about 150(More)
In this paper, we revisit in detail the effects of primordial magnetic fields on big bang nucleosynthesis (BBN) including a discussion of the magnetic field geometry and the anomalous magnetic moment. The presence of magnetic fields affects BBN by (1) increasing the weak reaction rates; (2) increasing the electron density due to changes to the electron(More)
We consider the production of 3 He and 2 H by 4 He photodisintegration initiated by non-thermal energy releases during early cosmic epochs. We find that this process cannot be the predominant source of primordial 2 H since it would result in anomalously high 3 He/D ratios in conflict with standard chemical evolution assumptions. We apply this fact to(More)
One of the crucial aspects of density perturbations that are produced by the standard inflation scenario is that they are Gaussian where seeds produced by topological defects tend to be non-Gaussian. The three point correlation function of the temperature anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation (CBR) provides a sensitive test of this aspect(More)