Cosmology and the Origin of Life
But, deuterium is a very fragile nucleus and can easily be broken apart by a high energy photon:
Now there is an interesting race condition:
Will deuterium combine with another proton to make a nucleus with 3 nucleons or will it be photodissociated before it can do this?
This race condition depends on the density of protons:
So things are trying to proceed as follows:
The end result is the conversion of 2 protons and 2 neutrons into 1 Helium-4 nucleus.
Before the Reaction:
After the reaction
The mass of 1 Helium-4 nucleus is about 4 times the mass of a proton
Now we can make a prediction:
The helium abundance reflects three things:
We have now finished the first step in the process
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