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Title: Analysis of the multicomponent relativistic Boltzmann equation for electron scattering in big bang nucleosynthesis

Abstract

Big-bang nucleosynthesis (BBN) is valuable as a means to constrain the physics of the early universe and it is the only probe of the radiation-dominated epoch. A fundamental assumption in BBN is that the nuclear velocity distributions obey Maxwell-Boltzmann (MB) statistics as they do in stars. Specifically, the BBN epoch is characterized by a dilute baryon plasma for which the velocity distribution of nuclei is mainly determined by the dominant Coulomb elastic scattering with mildly relativistic electrons. One must therefore deduce the momentum distribution for reacting nuclei from the multicomponent relativistic Boltzmann equation. However, the full multicomponent relativistic Boltzmann equation has only recently been analyzed and its solution has only been worked out in special cases. Moreover, a variety of schemes have been proposed that introduce nonthermal components into the BBN environment which can alter the thermal distribution of reacting nuclei. Here, we construct the relativistic Boltzmann equation in the context of BBN. We also derive a Langevin model and perform relativistic Monte-Carlo simulations which clarify the baryon distribution during BBN and can be used to analyze any relaxation from a nonthermal injection. Further, we show by these analyses that the thermalization process leads to a nuclear distribution function thatmore » remains very close to MB statistics even during the most relativistic environment relevant to BBN. Hence, the predictions of standard BBN remain unchanged.« less

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Univ. of Notre Dame, IN (United States)
  2. Beihang University, Beijing (China)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Notre Dame, IN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC); Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)
OSTI Identifier:
1800834
Grant/Contract Number:  
FG02-95ER40934
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review D
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 101; Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 2470-0010
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; Astronomy & Astrophysics; Physics

Citation Formats

Sasankan, Nishanth, Kedia, Atul, Kusakabe, Motohiko, and Mathews, Grant J. Analysis of the multicomponent relativistic Boltzmann equation for electron scattering in big bang nucleosynthesis. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.1103/physrevd.101.123532.
Sasankan, Nishanth, Kedia, Atul, Kusakabe, Motohiko, & Mathews, Grant J. Analysis of the multicomponent relativistic Boltzmann equation for electron scattering in big bang nucleosynthesis. United States. https://doi.org/10.1103/physrevd.101.123532
Sasankan, Nishanth, Kedia, Atul, Kusakabe, Motohiko, and Mathews, Grant J. Fri . "Analysis of the multicomponent relativistic Boltzmann equation for electron scattering in big bang nucleosynthesis". United States. https://doi.org/10.1103/physrevd.101.123532. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1800834.
@article{osti_1800834,
title = {Analysis of the multicomponent relativistic Boltzmann equation for electron scattering in big bang nucleosynthesis},
author = {Sasankan, Nishanth and Kedia, Atul and Kusakabe, Motohiko and Mathews, Grant J.},
abstractNote = {Big-bang nucleosynthesis (BBN) is valuable as a means to constrain the physics of the early universe and it is the only probe of the radiation-dominated epoch. A fundamental assumption in BBN is that the nuclear velocity distributions obey Maxwell-Boltzmann (MB) statistics as they do in stars. Specifically, the BBN epoch is characterized by a dilute baryon plasma for which the velocity distribution of nuclei is mainly determined by the dominant Coulomb elastic scattering with mildly relativistic electrons. One must therefore deduce the momentum distribution for reacting nuclei from the multicomponent relativistic Boltzmann equation. However, the full multicomponent relativistic Boltzmann equation has only recently been analyzed and its solution has only been worked out in special cases. Moreover, a variety of schemes have been proposed that introduce nonthermal components into the BBN environment which can alter the thermal distribution of reacting nuclei. Here, we construct the relativistic Boltzmann equation in the context of BBN. We also derive a Langevin model and perform relativistic Monte-Carlo simulations which clarify the baryon distribution during BBN and can be used to analyze any relaxation from a nonthermal injection. Further, we show by these analyses that the thermalization process leads to a nuclear distribution function that remains very close to MB statistics even during the most relativistic environment relevant to BBN. Hence, the predictions of standard BBN remain unchanged.},
doi = {10.1103/physrevd.101.123532},
journal = {Physical Review D},
number = 12,
volume = 101,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {6}
}

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