General Relativity and Gravitation

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 567–579 | Cite as

Do primordial lithium abundances imply there’s no dark energy?

  • Marco RegisEmail author
  • Chris Clarkson
Editor’s Choice (Research Article)


Explaining the well established observation that the expansion rate of the universe is apparently accelerating is one of the defining scientific problems of our age. Within the standard model of cosmology, the repulsive ‘dark energy’ supposedly responsible has no explanation at a fundamental level, despite many varied attempts. A further important dilemma in the standard model is the lithium problem, which is the substantial mismatch between the theoretical prediction for 7Li from Big Bang Nucleosynthesis and the value that we observe today. This observation is one of the very few we have from along our past worldline as opposed to our past lightcone. By releasing the untested assumption that the universe is homogeneous on very large scales, both apparent acceleration and the lithium problem can be easily accounted for as different aspects of cosmic inhomogeneity, without causing problems for other cosmological phenomena such as the cosmic microwave background. We illustrate this in the context of a void model.


Big bang nucleosynthesis Cosmology Dark energy Inhomogeneous cosmological models 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Astrophysics, Cosmology and Gravity, Department of Mathematics and Applied MathematicsUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.Centre for High Performance ComputingCape TownSouth Africa
  3. 3.Dipartimento di Fisica TeoricaUniversità di TorinoTorinoItaly
  4. 4.Istituto Nazionale di Fisica NucleareTorinoItaly

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