Space Science Reviews

, Volume 84, Issue 1–2, pp 127–136 | Cite as

Extragalactic Abundances of Hydrogen, Deuterium and Helium New Steps, Missteps and Next Steps

  • Craig J. Hogan


Estimates of the deuterium abundance in quasar absorbers are reviewed, including a brief account of incorrect claims published by the author and a brief review of the problem of hydrogen contamination. It is concluded that the primordial abundance may be universal with a value (D/H)P ≈ 10-4, within about a factor of two, corresponding to ΩBh 0.7 2 ≈ 0.0fs2 or η10 ≈ 2.7 in the Standard Big Bang. This agrees with current limits on primordial helium, YP ≤ 0.243, which are shown to be surprisingly insensitive to models of stellar enrichment. It also agrees with a tabulated sum of the total density of baryons in observed components. Much lower primordial deuterium (≈ 2 × 10-5) is also possible but disagrees with currently estimated helium abundances; the larger baryon density in this case fits better with current models of the Lyman-α forest but requires the bulk of the baryons to be in some currently uncounted form.


Hydrogen Helium Deuterium Current Model Total Density 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Craig J. Hogan
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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