KEY QUESTIONS FOR LOW METALLICITY STARS: Rapporteur Summary of the Working Group on Low-Z Stars

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Abstract

An overview of the discussions of the working group on Low-Z stars is presented. Key questions addressed include how the abundances of lithium observed in these stars should be compared to that produced in the Big Bang. Evidence for and against a small star-to-star variation in Li abundances is reviewed, and whether such a variation, if real, necessarily indicates that stellar depletion has occurred, necessitating correction to the value compared to primordial nucleosynthesis calculations. A second key question concerns how and where the light elements are produced. Taken together, their abundance ratios strongly suggest that in low-Z stars the light elements other than 7Li are produced by cosmic ray spallation. The most recent evidence suggests that a minority of this spallation happens in the general interstellar medium, and that a larger fraction might happen in the immediate vicinity of Supernovae, possibly producing observable star-to-star variation. Finally, the question of the overall metallicity of the Galaxy is discussed. How homogeneous in space and time is its evolution? Can we identify subsystems or individual stars which indicate a pregalactic contribution to the galactic metallicity?

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