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Chemistry and cosmology

John H. Black (Institutionen för radio- och rymdvetenskap, Radioastronomi och astrofysik)
Faraday Discussions of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK) (1359-6640). Vol. 133 (2006), p. 27-32.
[Artikel, refereegranskad vetenskaplig]

The simplest elements, hydrogen and helium, offer a remarkably rich chemistry, which has controlled crucial features of the early evolution of the universe. Theoretical models of the origin of structure (stars, galaxies, clusters of galaxies, etc.) now incorporate this chemistry in some detail. In addition to the origin of structure, cosmologists are concerned with observational tests of competing world models. Primordial chemistry may give rise to some of the earliest departures from thermodynamic equilibrium in the universe. These effects may be observable as broad-band spectroscopic distortions of the cosmic background radiation, which otherwise exhibits a nearly perfect blackbody spectrum. The chemical history of the expanding universe is followed through a detailed calculation of the evolution of the abundances of H, H+, H–, H2, H+2, H+3, and other minor species. It is shown that continuous absorption by the small concentration of H– can produce a distortion in the cosmic background spectrum with a maximum at a frequency near /c = 9 cm–1 (wavelength 1.1 mm). The predicted effect lies only a factor of 5 below current limits. Its detection would provide an important test of our understanding of the recombination epoch of the universe.

DOI: 10.1039/b516837f

Denna post skapades 2007-01-03. Senast ändrad 2014-09-02.
CPL Pubid: 24120


Institutioner (Chalmers)

Institutionen för radio- och rymdvetenskap, Radioastronomi och astrofysik (2005-2010)


Fysikalisk kemi

Chalmers infrastruktur