Effect of lithium hydride on the cooling of primordial gas

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Liu, Boyuan, (Ph. D. in astronomy)

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We complete the formulation of the standard model of first star formation by exploring the possible impact of LiH cooling, which has been neglected in previous simulations of non-linear collapse. Specifically, we find that at redshift z [greater than or equivalent to] 5, the cooling by LiH has no effect on the thermal evolution of shocked primordial gas, and of collapsing primordial gas into minihalos or relic H II regions, even if the primordial lithium abundance were enhanced by one order of magnitude. Adding the most important lithium species to a minimum network of primordial chemistry, we demonstrate that insufficient LiH is produced in all cases considered, about (LiH/Li) [approximately equal] 10⁻⁹ for T [less than or equivalent to] 100 K. Indeed, LiH cooling would only be marginally significant in shocked primordial gas for the highly unlikely case that the LiH abundance were increased by nine orders of magnitude, implying that all lithium would have to be converted into LiH. In this study, photo-destruction processes are not considered, and the collisional disassociation rate of LiH is possibly underestimated, rendering our results an extreme upper limit. Therefore, the cooling by LiH can safely be neglected for the thermal evolution of Population III star-forming gas.



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