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The Spite Lithium Plateau: Ultrathin But Postprimordial

By Sean G. Ryan, John E. Norris and Timothy C. Beers


We have studied 23 very metal-poor eld turno+ stars, specically chosen to enable a precise measurement of the dispersion in the lithium abundance of the Spite Li plateau. We concentrated on stars having a narrow range of e+ective temperature and very low metallicities to reduce the ([Fe/H] [[2.5) e+ects of systematic errors and have made particular e+orts to minimize random errors. A typical statistical error for our abundances is 0.033 dex (1 p), which represents a factor of 2 improvement on most previous studies. Our sample does not exhibit a trend with e+ective temperature, although the temperature range is limited. However, for [3.6 \ [Fe/H] \[2.3 we do recover a dependence on metallicity at dA(Li)/d[Fe/H] \ 0.118 ^ 0.023 (1 p) dex per dex, almost the same level as discussed previously. Earlier claims for a lack of dependence of A(Li) on abundance are shown to have arisen probably from noisier estimates of e+ective temperatures and metallicities, which have erased the real trend. ..

Year: 1999
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