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Hiding relativistic degrees of freedom in the early universe. (English) Zbl 1058.83540
Summary: We quantify the extent to which extra relativistic energy density can be concealed by a neutrino asymmetry without conflicting with the baryon asymmetry measured by the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP). In the presence of a large electron neutrino asymmetry, slightly more than seven effective neutrinos are allowed by Big Bang Nucleosynthesis (BBN) and WMAP at 2\(\sigma\). The same electron neutrino degeneracy that reconciles the BBN prediction for the primordial helium abundance with the observationally inferred value also reconciles the LSND neutrino with BBN by suppressing its thermalization prior to BBN.

MSC:
83F05 Relativistic cosmology
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