The Cosmic Lithium Story

Lithium’s story spans the history of the universe and is one that links to all its largest-scale processes: big bang nucleosyntheses, the evolution of stars, and galactic chemical evolution. Lithium was the only metal produced in the big bang, alongside the gases H and He. Stars destroy both stable isotopes of Li easily, yet we still have Li today, even after generations of stars have come and gone. Ongoing production of Li by galactic cosmic rays and by a limited number of Li-producing nuclear reactions and transport processes in some rare types of stars keeps lithium present in the universe.

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