Gravitino decays and the cosmological lithium problem in light of the LHC Higgs and supersymmetry searches

Richard H. Cyburt, John Ellis, Brian D. Fields, Feng Luo, Keith A. Olive, Vassilis C. Spanos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We studied previously the impact on light-element abundances of gravitinos decaying during or after Big-Bang nucleosynthesis (BBN). We found regions of the gravitino mass m3/2 and abundance ζ3/2 plane where its decays could reconcile the calculated abundance of 7Li with observation without perturbing the other light-element abundances unacceptably. Here we revisit this issue in light of LHC measurements of the Higgs mass and constraints on supersymmetric model parameters, as well as updates in the astrophysical measurements of light-element abundances. In addition to the constrained minimal supersymmetric extension of the Standard Model with universal soft supersymmetry-breaking masses at the GUT scale (the CMSSM) studied previously, we also study models with universality imposed below the GUT scale and models with non-universal Higgs masses (NUHM1). We calculate the total likelihood function for the light-element abundances, taking into account the observational uncertainties. We find that gravitino decays provide a robust solution to the cosmological 7Li problem along strips in the (m 3/23/2) plane along which the abundances of deuterium, 4He and 7Li may be fit with χ2min3, compared with χ2 ∼ 34 if the effects of gravitino decays are unimportant. The minimum of the likelihood function is reduced to χ2 < 2 when the uncertainty on D/H is relaxed and < 1 when the lithium abundance is taken from globular cluster data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number014
JournalJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2013


  • big bang nucleosynthesis
  • supersymmetry and cosmology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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