3 years ago

On dark matter - dark radiation interaction and cosmic reionization.

Srikanth Suresh, Vikram Rentala, Subinoy Das, Rajesh Mondal

An intriguing possibility for the dark sector of our universe is that the dark matter particle could interact with a dark radiation component. If the non-gravitational interactions of the dark matter and dark radiation species with Standard Model particles are highly suppressed, then astrophysics and cosmology could be our only windows into probing the dynamics of such a dark sector. It is well known that such dark sectors would lead to suppression of small scale structure, which would be constrained by measurements of the Lyman-$\alpha$ forest. In this work we consider the cosmological signatures of such dark sectors on the reionization history of our universe. Working within the "ETHOS" (effective theory of structure formation) framework, we show that if such a dark sector exists in our universe, the suppression of low mass dark matter halos would also reduce the total number of ionizing photons, thus affecting the reionization history of our universe. We place constraints on the interaction strengths within such dark sectors by using the measured value of the optical depth from the Planck satellite, as well as from demanding a successful reionization history. We compare and contrast such scenarios with warm dark matter scenarios which also suppress structure formation on small scales. In a model where dark matter interacts with a sterile neutrino, we find a bound on the ETHOS parameter $a_4\lesssim 1.2\times10^6\textrm{ Mpc}^{-1}$. For warm dark matter models, we constrain the mass $m_{\textrm{WDM}}\gtrsim 0.7\textrm{ keV}$, which is comparable to bounds obtained from Lyman-$\alpha$ measurements. Future 21-cm experiments will measure the global history of reionization and the neutral hydrogen power spectrum, which could either lead to stronger constraints or discovery of secret dark sector interactions.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1712.03976

DOI: arXiv:1712.03976v2

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.