Electromagnetic cascades and cascade nucleosynthesis in the early Universe

R. J. Protheroe, T. Stanev, V. S. Berezinsky
1995 Physical Review D, Particles and fields  
We describe a calculation of electromagnetic cascading in radiation and matter in the early universe initiated by the decay of massive particles or by some other process. We have used a combination of Monte Carlo and numerical techniques which enables us to use exact cross sections, where known, for all the relevant processes. In cascades initiated after the epoch of big bang nucleosynthesis $\gamma$-rays in the cascades will photodisintegrate $^4$He, producing $^3$He and deuterium. Using the
more » ... terium. Using the observed $^3$He and deuterium abundances we are able to place constraints on the cascade energy deposition as a function of cosmic time. In the case of the decay of massive primordial particles, we place limits on the density of massive primordial particles as a function of their mean decay time, and on the expected intensity of decay neutrinos.
doi:10.1103/physrevd.51.4134 pmid:10018888 fatcat:5z6rwz7krbhvdi2wsioqz46xru