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There is growing evidence from solar oscillation and evolution studies that the Sun's convection zone helium mass fraction has decreased by about 0.03 due to element diffusion. Evolution calculations show that diffusion also produces a steep Y and Z composition gradient below the convection zone. Comparisons between calculated and observed solar p-mode frequencies of angular degrees 5 thru 60 that are sensitive to solar structure near the convection zone bottom support this steep composition gradient, rather than one smoothed significantly by turbulent mixing. Turbulent mixing induced by convective overshoot or rotation has been the favored explanation for much of the solar surface lithium depletion by a factor of 200 from its presumed primordial value. These limits on the extent of turbulent mixing imply that either most of the solar lithium destruction occurred pre-main sequence, which is not supported by observations of young stars, or that some other mechanism, for example a small amount of early main-sequence mass loss, is responsible for the low observed lithium abundance. Solar models including such mass loss as well as diffusion have a slightly steeper central density gradient. Comparisons between observed and calculated low-degree p-mode frequencies that are sensitive to the Sun's central structure can be used to probe this density gradient and constrain the possible amount of mass loss.
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