Chemical Composition of the Early Universe

  title={Chemical Composition of the Early Universe},
  author={Martin Harwit and Marco Spaans},
  journal={The Astrophysical Journal},
  pages={53 - 57}
A prediction of standard inflationary cosmology is that the elemental composition of the medium out of which the earliest stars and galaxies condensed consisted primarily of hydrogen and helium 4He, with small admixtures of deuterium, lithium 7Li, and 3He. The most redshifted quasars, galaxies, and Lyα absorbers currently observed, however, all exhibit at least some admixture of heavier elements, as do the most ancient stars in the Galaxy. Here we examine ways in which the abundance of these… 

The Synthesis of the Elements and the Formation of Stars

One of the prerequisites for life is the presence of elements such as H, C, O, N, S and P. Those elements, with the exception of hydrogen, the most abundant element in space, were not yet present in

The growth of molecular complexity in the Universe.

A review is presented of the chemistry of the early Universe and the formation of the first stars and the diagnostic value of astrochemistry is illustrated by its use to infer the Galactic ionization rate.

Chemistry of heavy elements in the Dark Ages

Context. Primordial molecules were formed during the Dark Ages, i.e. the time between recombination and reionization in the early Universe. They were the constituents of the first proto-stellar

Thermochemistry of the Dark Age

In the conventional view the Universe began in a hot Big Bang some 15 billions years ago, and has been expanding ever since. The dark age of the Universe is pointed out as the period between the

Physics and the Universe, Realities of Appreciation

In this paper, Physics and the universe were studied. The philosophy of reflecting on the basic metaphysical and epistemological questions posed by physics was answered. It was discovered that we

The universe is not electrically neutral

In the work, the author puts a bold hypothesis on the electrical non-neutrality of the Universe. The existing Cosmological Standard Model does not determine whether the amount of positive and

CO/H2, C/CO, OH/CO, and OH/O2 in Dense Interstellar Gas: From High Ionization to Low Metallicity

We present numerical computations and analytic scaling relations for interstellar ion-molecule gas phase chemistry down to very low metallicities (10 −3 × solar), and/or up to high driving ionization

Ion chemistry in space

We review the gas-phase chemistry in extraterrestrial space that is driven by reactions with atomic and molecular ions. Ions are ubiquitous in space and are potentially responsible for the formation

Formation of Small Hydrocarbon Ions Under Inter- and Circumstellar Conditions: Experiments in Ion Traps

We present a recently developed ion-trapping machine that combines the trapping technique with a beam of neutral carbon atoms and molecules. A trapping apparatus consisting of a radio-frequency trap



Cosmological Formation of Low-Mass Objects

We investigate the early formation of bound objects with masses comparable to the cosmological Jeans mass (10^5 solar masses). We follow the growth of isolated spherically symmetric density peaks

Cosmological quantum chromodynamics, neutron diffusion, and the production of primordial heavy elements

A simple one-dimensional model is used to describe the evolution of neutron density before and during nucleosynthesis in a high-entropy bubble left over from the cosmic quark-hadron phase transition.

The Formation of the First Star in the Universe

It is concluded that at most one massive metal-free star forms per pregalactic halo, consistent with recent abundance measurements of metal-poor galactic halo stars.

The Formation and Fragmentation of Primordial Molecular Clouds

Many questions in physical cosmology regarding the thermal history of the intergalactic medium, chemical enrichment, reionization, etc., are thought to be intimately related to the nature and

Primordial star formation - The role of molecular hydrogen

We investigate the thermal and chemical evolution of a collapsing spherical cloud composed of pure hydrogen gas. The cloud is assumed to be in pressure-free collapse. Over a wide range of initial

The Extragalactic Infrared Background and Its Cosmological Implications: IAU Symposium 204

Observations carried out with the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) in the early 1990s have been processed and analyzed with increasing care over the past few years. These measurements are now

On the Threshold of the Reionization Epoch

Discovery of the cosmic reionization epoch would represent a significant milestone in cosmology. We present Keck spectroscopy of the quasar SDSS 1044-0125, at z = 5.73. The spectrum shows a dramatic

Cold Big Bang Nucleogenesis

This paper treats the energetic and nucleosynthetic history of a Friedmann model with low photon-baryon ratio ηγ and positive lepton-baryon ratio ηL. At early times, such a universe is in equilibrium

Probing the Universe after Cosmological Recombination through the Effect of Neutral Lithium on the Microwave Background Anisotropies

I show that neutral lithium couples strongly to the cosmic microwave background (CMB) through its 6708 Å resonant transition after it recombines at z ~ 500. At observed wavelengths of ≲335 μm, the