Mirror matter can alleviate the cosmological lithium problem
The abundance of lithium-7 confronts cosmology with a long lasting problem between the predictions of standard big bang nucleosynthesis and the baryonic density determined from the cosmic microwave background observations. This article investigates the influence of the existence of a mirror world, focusing on models in which neutrons can oscillate into mirror neutrons. Such a mechanism allows for an effective late time neutron injection, which induces an increase of the destruction of beryllium-7, due to an increase of the neutron capture, and then a decrease of the final lithium-7 abundance. Big bang nucleosynthesis sets constraints on the oscillation time between the two types of neutron and the possibility for such a mechanism to solve, or alleviate, the lithium problem is emphasized.