Astronomy seminar - Lithium in the Galaxy: To Be or not to Be

The astronomical community’s interest in Li continues to be vastly disproportional to its small abundance. The Li content of stars in the Galaxy links together several different research fields; from cosmology and Big Bang nucleosynthesis, to cosmic ray spallation in the interstellar medium, to mixing processes in stellar interiors, and even the presence of exoplanets. I will describe the intricate abundance patterns found for stars in different evolutionary phases and how the fragile nature of this light element makes it an excellent diagnostic tool for late-type stellar evolution all they way from the pre-main sequence to the tip of the asymptotic giant branch. I will further discuss some famous problems related to Li production and depletion and potential solutions in the light of improved models of stars and their spectra.