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Published June 11, 2015 | Published + Submitted
Journal Article Open

Dark matter-induced collapse of neutron stars: a possible link between fast radio bursts and the missing pulsar problem


Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are an emerging class of short and bright radio transients whose sources remain enigmatic. Within the Galactic Centre, the non-detection of pulsars within the inner ∼10 pc has created a missing pulsar problem that has intensified with time. With all reserve, we advance the notion that the two problems could be linked by a common solution: the collapse of neutron stars (NS) due to capture and sedimentation of dark matter (DM) within their cores. Bramante & Linden showed that certain DM properties allow for rapid NS collapse within the high DM density environments near galactic centres while permitting NS survival elsewhere. Each DM-induced collapse could generate an FRB as the NS magnetosphere is suddenly expelled. This scenario could explain several features of FRBs: their short time scales, large energies, locally produced scattering tails, and high event rates. We predict that FRBs are localized to galactic centres, and that our own galactic centre harbours a large population of NS-mass (M ∼ 1.4 M⊙) black holes. The DM-induced collapse scenario is intrinsically unlikely because it can only occur in a small region of allowable DM parameter space. However, if observed to occur, it would place tight constraints on DM properties.

Additional Information

© 2015 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. Accepted 2015 March 30. Received 2015 February 20; in original form 2014 December 18. We thank Peter Goldreich, Phil Hopkins, Christine Moran, Evan Kirby, and Sterl Phinney for useful discussions. We acknowledge stimulating workshops at Sky House where these ideas germinated. JF acknowledges support from NSF under grant no. AST-1205732 and through a Lee DuBridge Fellowship at Caltech. CDO acknowledges support from NSG through grants PHY-1151197 and AST-1205732.

Attached Files

Submitted - 1412.6119v2.pdf

Published - MNRAS-2015-Fuller-L71-5.pdf


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August 22, 2023
August 22, 2023