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Phys Rev Lett. 2016 Jul 15;117(3):035002. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.035002. Epub 2016 Jul 11.

Using Inertial Fusion Implosions to Measure the T+^{3}He Fusion Cross Section at Nucleosynthesis-Relevant Energies.

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Plasma Science and Fusion Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545, USA.
Plasma Physics Department, AWE plc, Reading RG7 4PR, United Kingdom.
Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405, USA.
Ohio University, Athens, Ohio 45701, USA.
Laboratory for Laser Energetics, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York 14623, USA.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California 94550, USA.
General Atomics, San Diego, California 92186, USA.


Light nuclei were created during big-bang nucleosynthesis (BBN). Standard BBN theory, using rates inferred from accelerator-beam data, cannot explain high levels of ^{6}Li in low-metallicity stars. Using high-energy-density plasmas we measure the T(^{3}He,γ)^{6}Li reaction rate, a candidate for anomalously high ^{6}Li production; we find that the rate is too low to explain the observations, and different than values used in common BBN models. This is the first data directly relevant to BBN, and also the first use of laboratory plasmas, at comparable conditions to astrophysical systems, to address a problem in nuclear astrophysics.

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