Lithium abundance dispersion in metal-poor stars
The formation and evolution of light elements in the Universe act as important cosmological constraints. The oldest stars of the Galaxy have long been assumed to display in their outer layers the primordial lithium abundance, although all studies of stellar physics proved that this abundance must have decreased with time. The primordial Li abundance deduced from the observations of the Cosmological Background is indeed larger than the maximum one observed in these stars. Recent observations gave evidence of a large Li abundance dispersion in very metal poor stars.
During this presentation, we address the general question of the lithium abundance dispersion obtained from observations of metal-poor stars, and how the interplay of atomic diffusion and accretion of matter modifies the element abundances in these metal-poor stars. In particular, we focus on the hydrodynamic processes that could take place after accretion. We consider initial metallicities from [Fe/H]=-2.31 down to [Fe/H]=-5.45.
We show that the observations of lithium dispersion, associated or not with carbon enrichment, are well accounted for in terms of accretion onto the metal-poor stars, with accreted masses smaller than a few Jupiter masses, when using a lithium initial abundance in accordance with the primordial lithium abundance obtained from latest BBN results.