Radiative corrections to the Big-bang Nucleosynthesis nuclear reaction rates

Cyril Pitrou, Maxim Pospelov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We compute radiative corrections to nuclear reaction rates that determine the outcome of the Big-Bang Nucleosynthesis (BBN). Any nuclear reaction producing a photon with an energy above 2me must be supplemented by the corresponding reaction where the final state photon is replaced by an electron-positron pair. We find that pair prodution brings a typical 0.2% enhancement to photon emission rates, resulting in a similar size corrections to elemental abundances. The exception is 4He abundance, which is completely insenstive to the small changes in the nuclear reaction rates. We also investigate the effect of vacuum polarisation on the Coulomb barrier, which brings a small extra correction when reaction rates are extrapolated from the measured energies to the BBN Gamow peak energies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Apr 16 2019
Externally publishedYes

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