View Full Version : Astronomy magazine error?...

2008-Jan-01, 02:58 PM
The latest issue of Astronomy magazine contains an error in the article on p 34 on Deuterium abundances. According to the contemporary reasoning, the ratio of deuterium/ protium has been slowly dropping as deuterium is slowly astrated.. (processed in star formation)...and there are no processes that can increase its' abundance since ~ 15 minutes after the Big Bang. Not true. Gamma ray bursts contain photons of sufficiently high energy to convert protons to neutrons in an endothermic weak interaction, with simultaneous annihilation of the paired electrons by positrons created in the process. The free neutrons so created can combine with available hydrogen to create new deuterium, or decay themselves back to protium in ~ 1000 secs. GRB's occur every day, so this process should reach an equilibrium concentration eventually, but with lots more protium than deuterium in the universe in general..D/P ~9-40 ppm....deuterium should be increasing now, I think. pete

peter eldergill
2008-Jan-01, 07:16 PM
I read the article, and am just nodding politely. Most of that stuff goes over my head