Journal Club

Seminar Room

If you want to propose a paper, you can contact Supratim Das Bakshi (sdb AT

Tuesday 7th of March, 2023

Title: Precision big bang nucleosynthesis with improved Helium-4 predictions

Abstract: Primordial nucleosynthesis is one of the three historical evidences for the big bang model, together with the expansion of the universe and the cosmic microwave background. There is a good global agreement between the computed primordial abundances of helium-4, deuterium, helium-3 and their values deduced from observations. Now that the number of neutrino families and the bary- onic densities have been fixed by laboratory measurements or CMB observations, the model has no free parameter and its predictions are rigid. Since this is the earliest cosmic process for which we a priori know all the physics involved, departure from its predictions could provide hints or constraints on new physics or astrophysics in the early universe. Precision on primordial abun- dances deduced from observations has recently been drastically improved and reach the percent level for both deuterium and helium-4. Accordingly, the BBN predictions should reach the same level of precision. For most isotopes, the dominant sources of uncertainty come from those on the laboratory thermonuclear reactions. This article focuses on helium-4 whose predicted primordial abundance depends essentially on weak interactions which control the neutron-proton ratio. The rates of the various weak interaction processes depend on the experimentally measured neutron lifetime, but also includes numerous corrections that we thoroughly investigate here. They are the radiative, zero–temperature, corrections, finite nucleon mass corrections, finite temperature radiative corrections, weak-magnetism, and QED plasma effects, which are for the first time all included and calculated in a self consistent way, allowing to take into account the correlations between them, and verifying that all satisfy detailed balance. Finally, we include the incomplete neutrino decoupling and claim to reach a 10−4 accuracy on the helium-4 predicted mass fraction of 0.24709 ± 0.00017 (when including the uncertainty on the neutron lifetime). In addition, we provide a Mathematica primordial nucleosynthesis code that incorporates, not only these correc- tions but also a full network of reactions, using the best available thermonuclear reaction rates, allowing the predictions of primordial abundances of helium-4, deuterium, helium-3 and lithium-7 but also of heavier isotopes up to the CNO region.

Presented by Antonio





Title: Dynamical quantum phase transitions of the Schwinger model: real-time dynamics on IBM Quantum

Abstract: Simulating real-time dynamics of gauge theories represents a paradigmatic use case to test the hardware capabilities of a quantum computer, since it can involve non-trivial input states preparation, discretized time evolution, long-distance entanglement, and measurement in a noisy environment. We implement an algorithm to simulate the real-time dynamics of a few-qubit system that approximates the Schwinger model in the framework of lattice gauge theories, with specific attention to the occurrence of a dynamical quantum phase transition. Limitations in the simulation capabilities on IBM Quantum are imposed by noise affecting the application of single-qubit and two-qubit gates, which combine in the decomposition of Trotter evolution. The experimental results collected in quantum algorithm runs on IBM Quantum are compared with noise models to characterize the performance in the absence of error mitigation.

Presented by Juan Carlos