QUARK-NOVAE, COSMIC REIONIZATION, AND EARLYr-PROCESS ELEMENT PRODUCTION Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • We examine the case for Quark-Novae (QNe) as possible sources for the reionization and early metal enrichment of the universe. Quark-Novae are predicted to arise from the explosive collapse (and conversion) of sufficiently massive neutron stars into quark stars. A Quark-Nova (QN) can occur over a range of time scales following the supernova event. For QNe that arise days to weeks after the supernovae, we show that dual-shock that arises as the QN ejecta encounter the supernova ejecta can produce enough photons to reionize hydrogen in most of the Inter-Galactic medium (IGM) by z ~ 6. Such events can explain the large optical depth tau_e ~ 0.1 as measured by WMAP, if the clumping factor, C, of the material being ionized is smaller than 10. We suggest a way in which a normal initial mass function (IMF) for the oldest stars can be reconciled with a large optical depth as well as the mean metallicity of the early IGM post reionization. We find that QN also make a contribution to r-process element abundances for atomic numbers A > 130. We predict that the main cosmological signatures of Quark-Novae are the gamma-ray bursts that announce their birth. These will be clustered at redshifts in the range z ~ 7-8 in our model.

publication date

  • September 10, 2009