NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010A-0212

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Proposal Information for 2010A-0212


PI: David Tytler, UCSD, david.tytler@gmail.com
Address: SERF MS 0424, 9500 Gilman Dr, La Jolla, CA 92093-0424, USA

CoI: David Kirkman, UCSD
CoI: Carl Zeisse, UCSD
CoI: Dan Lubin, UCSD
CoI: Aaron Day, UCSD
CoI: Jeffrey Lee, UCSD
CoI: Benjamin Ou, UCSD

Title: QSO Light on New Physics

Abstract: When we use the baryon density from the CMB, Big Bang Nucleosynthesis using standard physics predicts the deuterium to hydrogen ratio D/H with an error of 3%, and PLANCK will reduce this to 1.6%. Our goal is to improve the measurement of the primordial D/H from the current 10% error to below 3%. We are following two main ways to reduce the error, first improving the accuracy of the existing 7 D/H measurements, and second, the topic of this proposal, finding new places where we can measure D/H. The difference between the measured and predicted D/H is sensitive to new physics. A broad range of physics is relevant because all four forces are involved in the calculation of the predicted D/H. A D/H error of 3% is sufficient to detect an extra species of particle that is relativistic during BBN. We could detect sterile neutrinos, a new type of particle that lacks the usual weak force interaction, and is required by most popular explanations for the neutrino mass.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010A-0212

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