Astrophysicist team suggests axions could explain dearth of lithium-7 in dark matter theory

Feb 24, 2012 by Bob Yirka report
Strong gravitational lensing observed by the Hubble Space Telescope in Abell 1689. Image: NASA.

(PhysOrg.com) -- In trying to understand how everything came to be as it appears today, astrophysicists have put together theories that seek to explain how events transpired from the time of the Big Bang, till now. In so doing, they have come up with some ideas that cannot yet be proven. One is the concept of dark matter, which is what many researchers believe makes up to eighty percent of all matter in the universe. The problem with the theory though, is that one particular isotope, lithium-7, should be more abundant if the model is to hold true.

Theorists suggest that shortly after the , the universe was nothing but a superheated mass of protons and neutrons which over time merged to form the light gas element and isotopes of helium and lithium. Later, temperatures eventually began to cool and electrons began to connect with nuclei causing to stop discharging, which led eventually to the formation of all the other elements that we know today. Scientists have come to create such theories based on current (CMB) measurements. The problem though, is that models that try to recreate the whole process wind up having far more lithium-7 in them than actually exists.

This is where a team from the University of Florida comes in. They suggest that a low mass boson called an axion could account for the discrepancy. They say if such a particle does truly exist, as some suspect, it could, if cold enough, it could form a cosmological Bose-Einstein condensate, which could have interacted with those very early photons and cooled them down. And if that happened, the amount of lithium-7 produced would have been much less than has been calculated, enough so that it would align with what is found to actually exist today. This, they say, would solve the whole lithium-7 problem. They have published the results of their work in .

Of course, it’s not as simple as that, because if less lithium-7 developed, more of something else would have had to come about, and in the model, that would have to be deuterium and more neutrino types, which thus far doesn’t seem to be the case.

But that could change as the European Space Agency is currently working on a highly sophisticated method of measuring neutrinos, and if they find more, this new research could turn out to be a turning point in proving that axions are real which would give more credence to the models that seek to explain how everything around us came to be.

Explore further: IHEP in China has ambitions for Higgs factory

More information: Axion Dark Matter and Cosmological Parameters, Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 061304 (2012). DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.061304

Abstract
We observe that photon cooling after big bang nucleosynthesis but before recombination can remove the conflict between the observed and theoretically predicted value of the primordial abundance of 7Li. Such cooling is ordinarily difficult to achieve. However, the recent realization that dark matter axions form a Bose-Einstein condensate provides a possible mechanism because the much colder axions may reach thermal contact with the photons. This proposal predicts a high effective number of neutrinos as measured by the cosmic microwave anisotropy spectrum.

Physics Synopsis available.

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TabulaMentis
1.7 / 5 (6) Feb 24, 2012
"They suggest that a low mass boson called an axion could account for the discrepancy."

I find it near impossible for a boson to account for the dark matter or part of the dark matter mystery without involving fermions. The only way bosons could be involved is if they are part of a fermion, if you know what I mean?
Kinedryl
1 / 5 (2) Feb 24, 2012
nope, I dunno what u mean
TabulaMentis
2.3 / 5 (6) Feb 24, 2012
nope, I dunno what u mean
I sure would like to see how Dense Aether Theory could explain that.
Parsec
5 / 5 (2) Feb 24, 2012
"They suggest that a low mass boson called an axion could account for the discrepancy."

I find it near impossible for a boson to account for the dark matter or part of the dark matter mystery without involving fermions. The only way bosons could be involved is if they are part of a fermion, if you know what I mean?

Why? Fermions and Bosons are different sorts of particles.
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (6) Feb 24, 2012
Why? Fermions and Bosons are different sorts of particles.
They are different sorts of particles that can be combined!

Someday you will eat the one (1) ranking you gave me!
rah
4.4 / 5 (7) Feb 24, 2012
If we are making up particles, then I'd like to propose the Bobion or its equivalent the Bob Field. Bobions consume Lithium 7 for breakfast and generate the Higgs Field
Sean_W
1 / 5 (1) Feb 24, 2012
Should the BECs formed by axions be one big universe-wide one or countless local ones? If big, would it have had other effects on the evolving state of the universe and how long might it (or them) have lasted.
TabulaMentis
1.6 / 5 (7) Feb 24, 2012
If we are making up particles, then I'd like to propose the Bobion or its equivalent the Bob Field. Bobions consume Lithium 7 for breakfast and generate the Higgs Field

We are making them up because Brian Greene and Edward Witten are not smart enough to figure it out.
Urgelt
3.4 / 5 (5) Feb 24, 2012
Stuff that bugs me:

- Inflation. What the heck?

- Dark matter. We're trying to explain dark gravitational lensing with a convoluted chain of what-ifs. Even if we do find more neutrinos, nothing is nailed down.

- Dark energy. The universe is expanding at an apparently accelerating rate. Dark energy is hardly more than a fresh take on Einstein's much-regretted cosmological constant.

- Antimatter's gravitational properties. When are we going to get some actual measurements, and might they not be important?

- Virtual particles. Ghosts in the vacuum. How do they factor into cosmology? Or do they?

The guys who speculate on these subjects are admittedly smarter than me. But it *is* speculation. I think we should be nervous about the possibility that we're speculating in the wrong direction.

And no, I'm not trying to encourage the aetherists. Please spare me.
Shinichi D_
1 / 5 (1) Feb 25, 2012

- Dark energy. The universe is expanding at an apparently accelerating rate. Dark energy is hardly more than a fresh take on Einstein's much-regretted cosmological constant.


Because it probably is. Aether, (classic, not dense!) cosmologial constant, dark energy, etc. are different names for the same thing. Quantum vacuum.
Fleetfoot
3 / 5 (2) Feb 25, 2012
There's a preprint here:

http://arxiv.org/abs/1104.4507

About axions:

http://en.wikiped...ki/Axion

"The axion is a hypothetical elementary particle postulated by the PecceiQuinn theory in 1977 to resolve the strong CP problem in quantum chromodynamics (QCD). If axions exist and have low mass within a certain range, they are of interest as a possible component of cold dark matter."
baudrunner
1.7 / 5 (6) Feb 25, 2012
It's all good and well to propose theories based on some observation of nature, and sometimes the hypothesis can fit the theory quite snugly, but for the most part those theories will always be untenable, like Super String Theory, because they cannot be tested. However, I think it is a mistake to build new theories on extensions of theories that already are mostly speculative.

I think that these scientists should be studying more practical tings, like quasi particles and polarons. Like maintaining a standing wave in a solid mass such that the presence of quasi particles endure longer than their physical counterparts, because I think that therein lies the secret to those big cigar shaped UFO's, like the one that crash landed on the moon near Izak crater in the DelPorte region on the far side. At least that research might produce something that we can use.
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (4) Feb 25, 2012
If we are making up particles, then I'd like to propose the Bobion or its equivalent the Bob Field. Bobions consume Lithium 7 for breakfast and generate the Higgs Field.
I've got another new one for you or actually it has been around for a very long time. Let's call it the Holy Ghost particle! It can even fly................... And it even has an evil twin.
Callippo
1.5 / 5 (8) Feb 25, 2012
I sure would like to see how Dense Aether Theory could explain that.
In AWT (dense aether model is just one of dual interpreation of it) the Universe is steady state, so we can observe the abundance of heavy elements (like the tellurium observed recently) and the lack of light weight elements (like the lithium) at the most distant areas of Universe with compare to Big Bang cosmology, which considers, only lightweight elements could be formed during Universe formation because of inflation, which diluted its matter.

In particular, the Li-7 is burned already inside of galaxies, which we can see at the most distant areas of Universe, because these galaxies are older than aleged Big Bang and they contain stars of 2nd and 3rd generation, which can contain all heavy elements of periodic table.
Fleetfoot
4.3 / 5 (6) Feb 25, 2012
I sure would like to see how Dense Aether Theory could explain that.
In AWT (...) the Universe is steady state...


Last time I asked you what the AWT alternative to the Friedmann Equation was, you waved your hands and admitted you didn't have any. Now you are claiming you have a steady state solution. Which is it, do you have alternative equations or not?
Callippo
1.5 / 5 (8) Feb 25, 2012
Last time I asked you what the AWT alternative to the Friedmann Equation was
If the spreading of ripples at the water surface follows the observation well at the qualitative level and it can be described formally, why not at the cosmological scales? AWT model is not a salary generator for close community of physicists, who just need some equations for being able to produce publications, but for understanding of universe by masses. Most of people don't want to compute anything about it, but I do believe, in future we will manage to develop some formal model for spreading of light trough dispersive environment.

Anyway, the absence of formal model doesn't mean, it logics is wrong. The epicycle model of solar system was full of math, it even managed to give quantitative predictions - nevertheless it failed at the trivial logic level.
Callippo
1.5 / 5 (8) Feb 25, 2012
In addition, the Friedman solutions don't actually predict the evolution of Universe, they just do provide some constrains for it. The Friedman equations enable both expanding, both steady state Universe - in this sense the physicists were still surprised, when they revealed, the Universe is expanding with accelerated speed. You can model what you want with Friedmann equations - which is actually, why they're serving so well as a job generator for physicists.

http://www.physor...rse.html

With compare to it, dense aether model provides no alternatives: in the light of the wavelength shorter than the CMBR the Universe would appear expanding, in the wavelengths corresponding CMBR it will appear steady-state and in the wavelength larger than the CMBR it will appear collapsing. It's simply testable model even at the pure qualitative level. Friedman models is not directly testable due the spectrum of its parameters and it's violated already with dark energy.
Anda
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 25, 2012
Blablabla Callippo blablabla water ripples blablabla

There's "a little" lack of hydrogen in this article...
Fleetfoot
4.2 / 5 (5) Feb 26, 2012
Last time I asked you what the AWT alternative to the Friedmann Equation was
If the spreading of ripples at the water surface follows the observation well at the qualitative level and it can be described formally, why not at the cosmological scales?


No problem, that is the source of the angular power spectrum seen in the CMBR but that only exists in a big bang model.

Anyway, the absence of formal model doesn't mean, it logics is wrong.


It means it is "not even wrong" because it cannot produce quantitative predictions to be compared against observation. In science, the word "theory" requires three things, equations relating variables, definitions of how the value of those variables can be measured in any experiment/observation and the range of validity of the equations. Unless you have those, you don't have a theory, only philosophical speculation, or "handwaving" as it is often called. You need to drop the "T" from "AWT".
Callippo
1 / 5 (4) Feb 26, 2012
No problem, that is the source of the angular power spectrum seen in the CMBR but that only exists in a big bang model.
In AWT the CMBR power spectrum is related to the dodecahedron geometry of vacuum density fluctuations, which follows the most compact particle packing geometry. So it serves as a good evidence of particle nature of vacuum. Whereas in Big Bang model the power spectrum serves for fitting of (parameters of) Big Bang numerology, it's not predicted from it in any way.
It means it is "not even wrong" because it cannot produce quantitative predictions to be compared against observation
Better robust qualitative predictions, than the fuzzy numerology, based on logically fringe models. Although, I respect the later with respect to its positive impact to the employment program of mainstream physics.
Noumenon
3 / 5 (6) Feb 26, 2012
Better robust qualitative predictions, than the fuzzy numerology, based on logically fringe models.


Statements like these leads me to believe that AWT has become a religion to you.

In order that "qualitative predictions" can be considered properly "rebust", they should evolve to quantitative predictions according to the scientific merit of the theory.

Also, is the notion of a 'conspiracy of mainstream physics' built into AWT? This seems like another impossible condition for accepting AWT.
Callippo
1 / 5 (3) Feb 26, 2012
Statements like these leads me to believe that AWT has become a religion to you.
This is actually a normal evolution in science, when old theories (like the geocentric model of Ptolemy) are disproved just with their incompatibility with observable reality at the trivial logic level (Jupiter moons, order of Venus shadows) - although they're worked well at the quantitative level (mostly because of their high number of parameters). You can essentially invent whatever nonsense (hollow Earth for example) and fit its parameters in such a way, it will play well with observations. For example, most of dependencies in cosmology can be described with parabola well in the observable range of parameters - but it doesn't mean, their dependence is parabolic.
they should evolve to quantitative predictions according to the scientific merit of the theory
This is just a criterion of close group of contemporary scientists, who are thinking like opponents of Galileo in his era.
Callippo
1 / 5 (3) Feb 26, 2012
is the notion of a 'conspiracy of mainstream physics' built into AWT
Conspiracy assumes secretly organized movement, but the ignorance of mainstream science is mostly economically driven. The community of physicists as a whole cannot change their opinion, even if it would want to. I'm describing it like the surface tension effect. If some physicist spend whole life in development of Big Bang theory, he simply has no time, not to say about his political and economical will to switch itself into new way of thinking. As Max Planck once said "A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die. Science advances one funeral at a time." This is not indeed the conspiracy, just an incompetency and opinion rigidity. The only question is, why the layman community should support financially the community of trolls, who cannot swallow new ideas just because of inertia their motivational system.
MorituriMax
5 / 5 (2) Feb 26, 2012
blah blah aether theory ---> then a miracle happened <--- the Universe Exists!
CardacianNeverid
4.3 / 5 (6) Feb 27, 2012
If some physicist spend whole life in development of Big Bang theory, he simply has no time, not to say about his political and economical will to switch itself into new way of thinking -ClappoTard

Politics is irrelevant. Why would anyone switch from a a field of personal interest if that field has not been shown to be invalid? Good example is cold fusion. It was looked into by many and for quite a time, but after extensive evaluation, lack of reproducibility and no theoretical basis, it was dropped and scientists moved on. The BB theory has countless lines of evidence to commend it, makes predictions and continued research offers new insights into the early universe.
CardacianNeverid
4.2 / 5 (5) Feb 27, 2012
"A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die. Science advances one funeral at a time" -ClappoTard

All cranks trot out this tired old quote. It can be paraphrased as: extraordinary evidence requires extraordinary proof. What's more, quoting a pithy remark made a century ago in a vastly different social context is like quoting Darwin on some aspect of evolution that he could not possibly have know about in his day to try to score some cheap points today.

This is not indeed the conspiracy, just an incompetency and opinion rigidity -ClappoTard

I can't think of anyone more incompetent and rigid than you are. Oh wait, sadly I can.

The only question is, why the layman community should support financially the community of trolls, who cannot swallow new ideas -ClappoTard

As a spokesman for the community of rigid trolls, you should have a pretty good idea.

Fleetfoot
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 27, 2012
In AWT the CMBR power spectrum is related to ...


No, there is no such thing as "AWT" and a theory that doesn't exist cannot relate anything to anything else at all. You are simply posting you own views and prefacing them with "AWT says".

Whereas in Big Bang model the power spectrum

http://map.gsfc.n...dex.html

of (parameters of) Big Bang numerology, it's not predicted from it in any way.


ROFL, I love it. That's like complaining that Newtonian mechanics makes no predictions because it doesn't predict the acceleration of a mass unless you know the force applied to it
:-)

That site is a perfect example of how ALL predictions are made in science, you apply the rules to some input conditions and the theory predicts the outcome. You really need to learn the basics.

Better robust qualitative predictions ...


But AWT doesn't exist so it doesn't make any predictions at all, qualitative or otherwise.
Kinedryl
1 / 5 (2) Feb 27, 2012
No, there is no such thing as "AWT" and a theory that doesn't exist cannot relate anything to anything else at all. You are simply posting you own views and prefacing them with "AWT says".
Nope, I'm following the dense aether model all the time, or my posts would become incoherent and contradicting mutually. The dodecahedron geometry is the geometry of least regular density fluctuations inside of dense particle gas or fluid. It follows from theory of Lie exceptional groups, which describes the hypersphere packing geometry discovered with Poincare.
Kinedryl
1 / 5 (3) Feb 27, 2012
The dense aether theory was originally proposed with Oliver Lodge in 1904 (although the roots of this model is way older and even Descartes and R. Hooke cited it) You can read about it here. http://www.scribd...of-Space
Fleetfoot
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 28, 2012
You can read about it here. http://www.scribd...of-Space


Ah, that's what you're talking about. Look at pages 68 and 69. What he is talking about is Lorentz's initial aether model which had only length contraction though there were already indications that that wasn't enough. Subsequent experiments meant he had to include clock slowing too, both at the square root of the amount originally proposed. That was confirmed by Ives and Stillwell. His discussion of aether drag also preceded Sagnac's famous experiment. If you had said you were talking of "LET" we could have saved a lot of time. Of course LET is indistinguishable from SR (assuming you include 'relativistic mass increase') but they could never get the contradictions out of it. There are good summaries of the history here:

http://en.wikiped...eriments

http://en.wikiped...r_theory
Kinedryl
1 / 5 (1) Feb 28, 2012
Lorentz's initial aether model was too dedicated to the sparse aether model. But this sparse model cannot work at all for the light of higher frequencies. You cannot mediate the transverse waves with environment, which is of much lower mass/energy density, than these waves. Even Maxwell was fooled with it, when he proposed the search for aether drag. If the aether would be sufficiently dense, we couldn't observe any drag at all.
Of course LET is indistinguishable from SR
There is no reason, why the objects should contract itself in sparse aether model. I mean, it's ad-hoced assumption, attributed to luminiferous model which turned out to be right, but in sparse aether model we would have no way, how to realize it physically. The physical origin of relativistic contraction was revealed a way later in context of quantum mechanics by Louis deBroglie. But deBroglie didn't recognized the deBroglie wave as a source of relativistic contraction anyway.
Kinedryl
1 / 5 (2) Feb 28, 2012
In dense aether model the objects actually don't contract - they're surrounded with wake wave during their motion, which is making the vacuum more dense from perspective of observers, which are moving more slowly. As the result every object is surrounded with its private gravitational lens, which makes it more shorter along the axis of motion direction.

http://www.aether...peed.gif

Without it the light speed couldn't remain invariant, as the special relativity requires - just the contraction of body in motion wouldn't be sufficient for it. It means, the quantum mechanics is just helping to save relativity in this extent.
Fleetfoot
3 / 5 (2) Mar 01, 2012
.. they're surrounded with wake wave during their motion ..


There is no aether drag (obviously or the aether would drag on the planets) and it has very high shear strength so you cannot get a "wake" which is the displacement of material.

In dense aether model the objects actually don't contract .. every object is surrounded with its private gravitational lens, which makes it more shorter along the axis of motion direction.

http://www.aether...peed.gif


You contradict yourself. The diagram shows a circle becomes an ellipse with reduced minor axis. That is what Lorentz's theory says.

.. the contraction of body in motion wouldn't be sufficient for it.


Lorentz's first attempt used only length contraction at a level sufficient to explain the MMX. Later he was forced to change the level of contraction and include time dilation, both were always ad hoc.
Fleetfoot
3 / 5 (2) Mar 01, 2012
I'm following the dense aether model all the time, or my posts would become incoherent and contradicting mutually.


Your problem is that aether theory is self contradictory. An EM source, say an electron moving in a circle in the horizontal plane, south of an observer produces transverse waves hence the aether must have high shear strength, i.e. east-west, but the source does not produce longitudinal waves so the aether has no strength north-south. However a similar source east of the observer requires the opposite properties, high strength north-south but no strength east-west. You can't have it both ways.

Lodge's speculation on some unspecified internal circulating motion is also contradicted by the shear strength needed to propagate waves at the speed of light.

The only valid physical model for Lorentz's aether is a rigid crystal with light propagating like phonons (but phonons also have longitudinal modes, e.g. sound).
Callippo
1 / 5 (2) Mar 01, 2012
That is what Lorentz's theory says.
The circle is not an object in motion, but the deBroglie wave of vacuum around it.
Later he was forced to change the level of contraction and include time dilation, both were always ad hoc.
Lorentz was an aetherist proclamatively, but he didn't understand this particle models at all. He was theorist. Actually the only physicists, who ever understood the meaning of dense aether model were Robert Hooke and Oliver Lodge. But their applications of this model for predictions were quite modest and they cannot compete their contemporaries with it.
Callippo
1 / 5 (1) Mar 01, 2012
an electron moving in a circle in the horizontal plane, south of an observer produces transverse waves hence the aether must have high shear strength, i.e. east-west, but the source does not produce longitudinal waves so the aether has no strength north-south
I don't understand this objection. A bubble circulating along water surface produces the transverse waves in both directions, longitudinal waves are spreading trough underwater and they're manifesting in quite minute way at the water surface.
The only valid physical model for Lorentz's aether is a rigid crystal with light propagating like phonons
Such model is not aetheric at all. Aether is a random free particle gas without further constrains, not a crystal. Phonons are quantum waves, i.e. the concept of quite different theory. At the moment, when someone talks about quantum waves in aether, he is simply crackpot.
Fleetfoot
3 / 5 (2) Mar 02, 2012
I don't understand this objection.


The aether would fill space so we would be embedded within it. As such, you have to consider body waves, not surface:

http://en.wikiped...ic_waves

Then note that light can be polarised so it is a transverse wave like seismic "S waves", they rely on shear strength for their restoring force. Gas and liquids have no shear strength so the idea that the aether could be anything other than rigid is contrary to its properties.

Aether is a random free particle gas without further constrains, not a crystal.


Lodge seems to have made that mistake too, that's what you get if you take speculation too far and lose sight of the science.

Lorentz's aether theories simply postulated length contraction and (later) clock slowing which were enough to explain the MMX. He was trying to model the effect on the electron as a mechanism for those but I'm not aware if he speculated on the nature of the aether at all.