The lightest elements
(hydrogen, helium, lithium)
were made in the Big Bang


(The Big Bang is the expansion of the universe
from an incredibly hot dense beginning
about 15 billion years ago.)


Calculations of Big Bang nucleosynthesis
correctly predict the observed amounts of
hydrogen, helium, helium-3, lithium, and deuterium!

These were formed from a hot "soup" of protons and neutrons.
when the universe was only 3 minutes old.

Sci_Am_nucleosynthesis.jpg (39810 bytes)

DENSITY OF NEUTRONS AND PROTONS in the universe determined the abundances of certain elements. For a
higher-density universe, the computed helium abundance is little different, and the computed abundance of deuterium is
considerably lower. The shaded region is consistent with the observations, ranging from an abundance of 24 percent for helium
to one part in 1010 for the lithium isotope. This quantitative agreement of theory and observation is a prime success of the big
bang cosmology.

Accelerators have reproduced the conditions in the Big Bang
when the universe was only 0.00001 second old (one ten-millionth of a second)!

QGM.jpg (52457 bytes)

a quark-gluon plasma

Our understanding of how the universe was created, which was previously unverified theory for any point in time before the formation of ordinary atomic nuclei, about three minutes after the Big Bang, has with these results now been experimentally tested back to a point only a few microseconds after the Big Bang.

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