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Sterile neutrino dark matter: A tale of weak interactions in the strong coupling epoch

Venumadhav, Tejaswi and Cyr-Racine, Francis-Yan and Abazajian, Kevork N. and Hirata, Christopher M. (2016) Sterile neutrino dark matter: A tale of weak interactions in the strong coupling epoch. Physical Review D, 94 (4). Art. No. 043515. ISSN 2470-0010. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.94.043515.

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We perform a detailed study of the weak interactions of standard model neutrinos with the primordial plasma and their effect on the resonant production of sterile neutrino dark matter. Motivated by issues in cosmological structure formation on small scales, and reported X-ray signals that could be due to sterile neutrino decay, we consider 7 keV-scale sterile neutrinos. Oscillation-driven production of such sterile neutrinos occurs at temperatures T ≳ 100 MeV, where we study two significant effects of weakly charged species in the primordial plasma: (1) the redistribution of an input lepton asymmetry; (2) the opacity for active neutrinos. We calculate the redistribution analytically above and below the quark-hadron transition, and match with lattice QCD calculations through the transition. We estimate opacities due to tree level processes involving leptons and quarks above the quark-hadron transition, and the most important mesons below the transition. We report final sterile neutrino dark matter phase space densities that are significantly influenced by these effects, and yet relatively robust to remaining uncertainties in the nature of the quark-hadron transition. We also provide transfer functions for cosmological density fluctuations with cutoffs at k ≃ 10 h Mpc^(−1), that are relevant to galactic structure formation.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Venumadhav, Tejaswi0000-0002-1661-2138
Cyr-Racine, Francis-Yan0000-0002-7939-2988
Abazajian, Kevork N.0000-0001-9919-6362
Hirata, Christopher M.0000-0002-2951-4932
Additional Information:© 2016 American Physical Society. Received 14 August 2015; published 15 August 2016. We thank Olivier Doré and Roland de Putter for fruitful discussions. We are grateful to Mikko Laine for providing us the data for the plasma's equation of state. T.V. and C.M.H. are supported by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Simons Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Energy. The work of F.-Y. C.-R. was performed in part at the California Institute of Technology for the Keck Institute for Space Studies, which is funded by the W. M. Keck Foundation. Part of the research described in this paper was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). K.N.A. is partially supported by NSF CAREER Grant No. PHY-1159224 and NSF Grant No. PHY-1316792. K.N.A. acknowledges support from the Institute for Nuclear Theory program "Neutrino Astrophysics and Fundamental Properties" 15-2a where part of this work was done.
Group:Keck Institute for Space Studies
Funding AgencyGrant Number
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Simons FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)UNSPECIFIED
W. M. Keck FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Institute for Nuclear TheoryUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:4
Classification Code:PACS: 95.35.+d,14.60.Pq,14.60.St,98.65.-r
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150812-092132765
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Sterile neutrino dark matter: Weak interactions in the strong coupling epoch Tejaswi Venumadhav, Francis-Yan Cyr-Racine, Kevork N. Abazajian, and Christopher M. Hirata Phys. Rev. D 94, 043515 (2016)
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:59441
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:12 Aug 2015 16:32
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 22:20

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