On the possible sources of D/H dispersion at high redshift

Brian D. Fields, Keith A. Olive, Joseph Silk, Michel Cassé, Elisabeth Vangioni-Flam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent observations suggest the existence of a white dwarf population in the Galactic halo, while others suggest that deuterium has been astrated in systems at high redshift and low metallicity. We propose that these observations could be signatures of an early population of intermediate-mass stars. Such a population requires a Population III initial mass function different from that of the solar neighborhood, as perhaps also suggested by the observed cosmic infrared background. Also, to avoid over-production of C and N, it is required that the Z = 0 yields of these stars have low (∼10-3 solar) abundances, as suggested by some recent calculations. Under these assumptions, we present a model that reproduces the observed D versus Si trend and predicts a high cosmic Type Ia supernova rate while producing a white dwarf population that accounts for only ∼1.5% of the dark halo. This scenario can be tested by observations of the cosmic supernova rate and by confirmation and further studies of the putative white dwarf halo population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)653-659
Number of pages7
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART 1
StatePublished - Dec 20 2001


  • Cosmic rays
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Nuclear reactions, nucleosynthesis, abundances

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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