Big Bang Nucleosynthesis in Crisis?

N. Hata, R. J. Scherrer, G. Steigman, D. Thomas, T. P. Walker, S. Bludman, P. Langacker
1995 Physical Review Letters  
A new evaluation of the constraint on the number of light neutrino species (N_nu) from big bang nucleosynthesis suggests a discrepancy between the predicted light element abundances and those inferred from observations, unless the inferred primordial 4He abundance has been underestimated by 0.014 +/- 0.004 (1 sigma) or less than 10% (95%C.L.) of 3He survives stellar processing. With the quoted systematic errors in the observed abundances and a conservative chemical evolution parameterization,
more » ... parameterization, the best fit to the combined data is N_nu = 2.1 +/- 0.3 (1 sigma) and the upper limit is N_nu < 2.6 (95% C.L.). The data are inconsistent with the Standard Model (N_nu = 3) at the 98.6% C.L.
doi:10.1103/physrevlett.75.3977 pmid:10059784 fatcat:rhuejns7drgm5azmdynzd4jldq