Tests of Big Bang Cosmology
http://edu-observatory.org/olli/tobbc/Week2.html   or   index.html

Interactive Periodic Table - With Spectral Lines

Tests of Big Bang Cosmology

  The Big Bang Model is supported by a number of important
  observations, each of which are described in more detail
  on separate pages:

  1. The expansion of the universe

  Edwin Hubble's 1929 observation that galaxies were generally
  receding from us provided the first clue that the Big Bang
  theory might be right.

  2. The abundance of the light elements H, He, Li

  The Big Bang theory predicts that these light elements
  should have been fused from protons and neutrons in the
  first few minutes after the Big Bang.

  In 1948, Physicist George Gamow hypothesized that all of thep
  elements might have been made in the hot and dense early
  universe. He suggested to his student, Ralph Alpher, that he
  calculate this. Alpher did so for his PhD thesis, with
  Robert Herman participating in much of the work. Alpher and
  Herman found that Gamow was wrong: most elements could not
  have been made in the early universe. The problem is with
  neutron capture. Neutrons decay in about 10 minutes, and
  their density decreases as the universe expands in that
  time. There just isn't enough time to keep building up to
  the heavier elements before the neutrons are gone. The heavy
  elements are made later, in stars. Only the lightest
  elements are built up in the early universe. The important
  prediction that the cosmic microwave background (CMB)
  exists, and has a blackbody spectrum with a temperature of
  about 5 degrees above absolute zero, was a by-product of
  this work.

Fundamental Particle and Interactions

Comparison of Solar Nucleosysthesis and Big Bang Neucleosysnthesis

Solar Nucleosynthesis -- proton-proton chain

  pp   p + p --> H2 + e+ + v_e 100 q < 0.420 MeV
  pep  p + e- + p --> H2 + v_e 0.4 q = 1.442 MeV
  hep  He3 + p --> He4 + v_e 0.00002 q < 18.773 MeV
  Be7  Be7 + e- --> Li7 + v_e 15 q = 0.862 MeV 89.7%, q = 0.384 MeV 10.3%
  B8   B8 --> Be7 + e+ + v_e 0.02 q < 15 MeV

Relevant papers by John N. Bahcall, Sarbani Basu, M. H. Pinsonneault:

Book Recommendation - The First Three Minutes by Steve Weinberg

Big Bang Nucleosysnthesis

  It is hoped that someday we will detect Big Bang neutrinos!

  3. The cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation

  The early universe should have been very hot. The cosmic
  microwave background radiation is the remnant heat leftover
  from the Big Bang.

  These three measurable signatures strongly support the
  notion that the universe evolved from a dense, nearly
  featureless hot gas, just as the Big Bang model predicts.

The Evidence For The Big Bang In 10 Little Minutes