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Light-Element Abundances in Population II Dwarfs

Sean G. Ryan
Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Vol. 104, No. 679 (1992 September), pp. 805-808
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40679930
Page Count: 4
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Light-Element Abundances in Population II Dwarfs
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Abstract

This paper reviews the abundances of the light elements lithium, beryllium, and boron in main-sequence and subgiant, Population II stars. Li is important to cosmology because it is synthesized in the Big Bang, but is also used to study stellar structure. Beryllium is useful for studying galactic chemical evolution because its formation in the interstellar medium involves different physics to stellar nucleosynthesis, and it thus provides independent data on the evolution of the halo. Some (though not all) inhomogeneous Big Bang nucleosynthesis codes predict a significant primordial component to this element, so its observed abundance may constrain such models. Boron, observations of which became feasible with the operation of the Hubble Space Telescope, provides complementary data to Be, helping check the element ratios predicted by calculations of spallation reactions in the interstellar medium, and will indicate whether the observed Be abundance has an excess over the expected spallation component, indicating a possible primordial component.

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