The fragile light elements lithium, beryllium, and boron (Li, Be, B) are easily destroyed in stellar interiors, and are thus superb probes of physical processes occuring in the outer stellar layers. The light elements are also excellent tracers of the chemical evolution of the Galaxy, and can test big bang nucleosynthesis (BBN). These inter-related topics are reviewed with an emphasis on stellar physics.
In Part I (presented by CPD), an overview is given of the physical processes which can modify the surface abundances of the light elements, with emphasis on Population I dwarfs - convection; gravitational settling, thermal diffusion, and radiative levitation; slow mixing induced by gravity waves or rotation. We will discuss the increasingly large body of data which begin to enable us to discern the relative importance of these mechanisms in Population I main sequence stars. In Part II (presented by MHP), discussion is extended to the issue of whether or not the halo Li plateau is depleted, and includes the following topics: Li dispersion in field and globular cluster stars, Li production vs. destruction in Li-rich halo stars, and constraints from 6Li. Also discussed are trends with metal abundance and T
and implications for chemical evolution and BBN. In Part III (presented by CC), evidence is reviewed that suggests that in situ mixing occurs in evolved low mass Population I and Population II stars. Theoretical mechanisms that can create such mixing are discussed, as well as their implications in stellar yields.