AAS 198th Meeting, June 2001
Session 21. Cosmology and Dark Matter
Oral, Monday, June 4, 2001, 10:00-11:30am, C105

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[21.05] Testing Cosmology with Big Bang Nucleosynthesis

B. D. Fields (Dept. of Astronomy, U. Illinois), R. H. Cyburt (Dept. of Physics, U. Illinois), K. A. Olive (Theoretical Physics Institute, U. Minnesota)

The big bang nucleosynthesis (BBN) prediction of the cosmic baryon density will soon be strongly and independently tested by measurement of anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background (CMB). In anticipation of this test, it is crucial that the BBN predictions be made as accurate as possible. We discuss recent efforts to refine the BBN theoretical error budget, as well as the observational determination of the the primordial lithium abundance. Finally, presuming the the CMB and BBN measures of the baryon density are in agreement, we illustrate the power of combining the two to constrain astrophysics and particle physics.

The work of K.A.O. was supported in part by DoE grant DE-FG02-94ER-40823 at the University of Minnesota.

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