Primordial Beryllium as a Big Bang Calorimeter
Physical Review Letters
Many models of new physics including variants of supersymmetry predict metastable long-lived particles that can decay during or after primordial nucleosynthesis, releasing significant amounts of non-thermal energy. The hadronic energy injection in these decays leads to the formation of ^9Be via the chain of non-equilibrium transformations: Energy_h -> T, ^3He -> ^6He, ^6Li -> ^9Be. We calculate the efficiency of this transformation and show that if the injection happens at cosmic times of a few
... hours, the release of 10 MeV per baryon can be sufficient for obtaining a sizable ^9Be abundance. The absence of a plateau-structure in the ^9Be/H abundance down to a 10^-14 level allows one to use beryllium as a robust constraint on new physics models with decaying or annihilating particles.