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Messengers from the Early Universe: Cosmic Neutrinos and Other Light Relics

Green, Daniel and Doré, Olivier and Górski, Krzysztof M. (2019) Messengers from the Early Universe: Cosmic Neutrinos and Other Light Relics. Astro2020 Science White Paper, . (Unpublished) https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20190925-140834247

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Abstract

The hot dense environment of the early universe is known to have produced large numbers of baryons, photons, and neutrinos. These extreme conditions may have also produced other long-lived species, including new light particles (such as axions or sterile neutrinos) or gravitational waves. The gravitational effects of any such light relics can be observed through their unique imprint in the cosmic microwave background (CMB), the large-scale structure, and the primordial light element abundances, and are important in determining the initial conditions of the universe. We argue that future cosmological observations, in particular improved maps of the CMB on small angular scales, can be orders of magnitude more sensitive for probing the thermal history of the early universe than current experiments. These observations offer a unique and broad discovery space for new physics in the dark sector and beyond, even when its effects would not be visible in terrestrial experiments or in astrophysical environments. A detection of an excess light relic abundance would be a clear indication of new physics and would provide the first direct information about the universe between the times of reheating and neutrino decoupling one second later.


Item Type:Report or Paper (White Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://arxiv.org/abs/1903.04763arXivDiscussion Paper
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Doré, Olivier0000-0002-5009-7563
Series Name:Astro2020 Science White Paper
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190925-140834247
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20190925-140834247
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:98862
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:25 Sep 2019 21:13
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 21:45

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