Glossary term: Big Bang Nucleosynthesis

Description: In its simplest form the process of nucleosynthesis involves the formation of heavier elements from lighter elements via fusion. The evolutionary history of the Universe consists of various phases, one of earliest is Big Bang Nucleosynthesis (BBN), also called Primordial Nucleosynthesis. Based on predictions made by the concordance model of cosmology, this phase occurred in the first few seconds of the early Universe and lasted for a few minutes. The expansion of the Universe and the subsequent reduction in temperatures was a vital driver of the BBN, which resulted in the formation of Deuterium (an isotope of Hydrogen), isotopes of Helium (He-3 and He-4), and isotopes of Lithium (Li-6 and Li-7). There is still much to be established with regards to BBN, especially with regards to the relative abundances of the isotopes of Lithium.

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