- Leiden University and EPFL
- Associate Professor
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We derive constraints on parameters of the radiatively decaying Dark Matter (DM) particles, using XMM-Newton EPIC spectra of the Andromeda galaxy (M31). Using the observations of the outer (5'-13') parts of M31 we improve the existing constraints. For the case of sterile neutrino DM, combining our constraints with the latest computation of abundances of sterile neutrino in the Dodelson-Widrow (DW) scenario, we obtain the lower mass limit m_s < 4 keV, which is stronger than the previous one m_s < 6 kev, obtained recently by Asaka et al. (2007) [hep-ph/0612182]. Comparing this limit with the most recent results on Lyman-alpha forest analysis of Viel et al. (2007) [arXiv:0709.0131] (m_s > 5.6 kev), we argue that the scenario in which all the DM is produced via DW mechanism is ruled out. We discuss however other production mechanisms and note that the sterile neutrino remains a viable candidate of Dark Matter, either warm or cold.
Using the high-resolution spectrometer SPI on board the International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory (INTEGRAL), we search for a spectral line produced by a dark matter(DM) particle with a mass in the range 40keV < M_DM < 14MeV, decaying in the DM halo of the Milky Way. To distinguish the DM decay line from numerous instrumental lines found in the SPI background spectrum, we study the dependence of the intensity of the line signal on the offset of the SPI pointing from the direction toward the Galactic Centre. After a critical analysis of the uncertainties of the DM density profile in the inner Galaxy, we find that the intensity of the DM decay line should decrease by at least a factor of 3 when the offset from the Galactic Centre increases from 0 to 180 degrees. We find that such a pronounced variation of the line flux across the sky is not observed for any line, detected with a significance higher than 3 sigma in the SPI background spectrum. Possible DM decay origin is not ruled out only for the unidentified spectral lines, having low (~3 sigma) significance or coinciding in position with the instrumental ones. In the energy interval from 20 keV to 7 MeV, we derive restrictions on the DM decay line flux, implied by the (non-)detection of the DM decay line. For a particular DM candidate, the sterile neutrino of mass MDM, we derive a bound on the mixing angle.
We discuss the bounds on the mass of Dark Matter (DM) particles, coming from the analysis of DM phase-space distribution in dwarf spheroidal galaxies (dSphs). After reviewing the existing approaches, we choose two methods to derive such a bound. The first one depends on the information about the current phase space distribution of DM particles only, while the second one uses both the initial and final distributions. We discuss the recent data on dSphs as well as astronomical uncertainties in relevant parameters. As an application, we present lower bounds on the mass of DM particles, coming from various dSphs, using both methods. The model-independent bound holds for any type of fermionic DM. Stronger, model-dependent bounds are quoted for several DM models (thermal relics, non-resonantly and resonantly produced sterile neutrinos, etc.). The latter bounds rely on the assumption that baryonic feedback cannot significantly increase the maximum of a distribution function of DM particles. For the scenario in which all the DM is made of sterile neutrinos produced via non-resonant mixing with the active neutrinos (NRP) this gives m_nrp > 1.7 keV. Combining these results in their most conservative form with the X-ray bounds of DM decay lines, we conclude that the NRP scenario remains allowed in a very narrow parameter window only. This conclusion is independent of the results of the Lyman-alpha analysis. The DM model in which sterile neutrinos are resonantly produced in the presence of lepton asymmetry remains viable. Within the minimal neutrino extension of the Standard Model (the nuMSM), both mass and the mixing angle of the DM sterile neutrino are bounded from above and below, which suggests the possibility for its experimental search.
In this talk we review existing cosmological and astrophysical bounds on light (with the mass in keV - MeV range) and super-weakly interacting dark matter candidates. A particular attention is paid to the sterile neutrino DM candidate.
We revisit Lyman-alpha bounds on the dark matter mass in Lambda Warm Dark Matter (Lambda-WDM) models, and derive new bounds in the case of mixed Cold plus Warm models (Lambda-CWDM), using a set up which is a good approximation for several theoretically well-motivated dark matter models. We combine WMAP5 results with two different Lyman-alpha data sets, including observations from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. We pay a special attention to systematics, test various possible sources of error, and compare the results of different statistical approaches. Expressed in terms of the mass of a non-resonantly produced sterile neutrino, our bounds read m_NRP > 8 keV (frequentist 99.7% confidence limit) or m_NRP > 12.1 keV (Bayesian 95% credible interval) in the pure Lambda-WDM limit. For the mixed model, we obtain limits on the mass as a function of the warm dark matter fraction F_WDM. Within the mass range studied here (5 keV < m_NRP < infinity), we find that any mass value is allowed when F_WDM < 0.6 (frequentist 99.7% confidence limit); similarly, the Bayesian joint probability on (F_WDM, 1/m_NRP) allows any value of the mass at the 95% confidence level, provided that F_WDM < 0.35.
Previous fits of sterile neutrino dark matter models to cosmological data assumed a peculiar production mechanism, which is not representative of the best-motivated particle physics models given current data on neutrino oscillations. These analyses ruled out sterile neutrino masses smaller than 8-10 keV. Here we focus on sterile neutrinos produced resonantly. We show that their cosmological signature can be approximated by that of mixed Cold plus Warm Dark Matter (CWDM). We use recent results on LambdaCWDM models to show that for each mass greater than or equal to 2 keV, there exists at least one model of sterile neutrino accounting for the totality of dark matter, and consistent with Lyman-alpha and other cosmological data. Resonant production occurs in the framework of the nuMSM (the extension of the Standard Model with three right-handed neutrinos). The models we checked to be allowed correspond to parameter values consistent with neutrino oscillation data, baryogenesis and all other dark matter bounds.
We present a comprehensive overview of an extension of the Standard Model that contains three right-handed (sterile) neutrinos with masses below the electroweak scale [the Neutrino Minimal Standard Model, (nuMSM)]. We consider the history of the Universe from the inflationary era through today and demonstrate that most of the observed phenomena beyond the Standard Model can be explained within the framework of this model. We review the mechanism of baryon asymmetry of the Universe in the nuMSM and discuss a dark matter candidate that can be warm or cold and satisfies all existing constraints. From the viewpoint of particle physics the model provides an explanation for neutrino flavor oscillations. Verification of the nuMSM is possible with existing experimental techniques.
Many extensions of the Standard Model (SM) predict new neutral vector bosons at energies accessible by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). We study an extension of the SM with new chiral fermions subject to non-trivial anomaly cancellations. If the new fermions have SM charges, but are too heavy to be created at LHC, and the SM fermions are not charged under the extra gauge field, one would expect that this new sector remains completely invisible at LHC. We show, however, that a non-trivial anomaly cancellation between the new heavy fermions may give rise to observable effects in the gauge boson sector that can be seen at the LHC and distinguished from backgrounds.
We present a new universal relation, satisfied by matter distributions at all observed scales, and show its amazingly good and detailed agreement with the predictions of the most up-to-date pure dark matter simulations of structure formation in the Universe. This work extends the previous analysis [0904.4054; 0909.5203] to a larger range of masses, demonstrates a different scaling law, and compares it with numerical simulations. This behaviour seems to be insensitive to the complicated feedback of baryons on dark matter. Therefore, it potentially allows to compare theoretical predictions directly with observations, thus providing a new tool to constrain the properties of dark matter. Such a universal property, observed in structures of all sizes (from dwarf spheroidal galaxies to galaxy clusters), is difficult to explain without dark matter, thus providing new evidence for its existence.
We discuss the universal relation between density and size of observed Dark Matter halos that was recently shown to hold on a wide range of scales, from dwarf galaxies to galaxy clusters. Predictions of LambdaCDM N-body simulations are consistent with this relation. We demonstrate that this property of LambdaCDM can be understood analytically in the secondary infall model. Qualitative understanding given by this model provides a new way to predict which deviations from LambdaCDM or large-scale modifications of gravity can affect universal behavior and, therefore, to constrain them observationally.
We suggest a new efficient way to constrain a certain class of large scale modifications of gravity. We show that the scale-free relation between density and size of Dark Matter halos, predicted within the LambdaCDM model with Newtonian gravity, gets modified in a wide class of theories of modified gravity.
A signal from decaying dark matter (DM) can be unambiguously distinguished from spectral features of astrophysical or instrumental origin by studying its spatial distribution. We demonstrate this approach by examining the recent claim of 0912.0552 regarding the possible DM origin of the 2.5 keV line in Chandra observations of the Milky Way satellite known as Willman 1. Our conservative strategy is to adopt a relatively large dark mass for Willman 1 and relatively small dark masses for the comparison objects. We analyze archival observations by XMM-Newton of M31 and Fornax dwarf spheroidal galaxy (dSph) and Chandra observations of Sculptor dSph. By performing a conservative analysis of X-ray spectra, we show the absence of a DM decay line with parameters consistent with those of 0912.0552. For M31, the observations of the regions between 10 and 20 kpc from the center, where the uncertainties in the DM distribution are minimal, make a strong exclusion at the level above 10sigma. The minimal estimate for the amount of DM in the central 40 kpc of M31 is provided by the model of 0912.4133, assuming the stellar disk's mass to light ratio ~8 and almost constant DM density within a core of 28 kpc. Even in this case one gets an exclusion at 5.7sigma from central region of M31 whereas modeling all processed data from M31 and Fornax produces more than 14sigma exclusion. Therefore, despite possible systematic uncertainties, we exclude the possibility that the spectral feature at ~2.5 keV found in 0912.0552 is a DM decay line. We conclude, however, that the search for DM decay line, although demanding prolonged observations of well-studied dSphs, M31 outskirts and other similar objects, is rather promising, as the nature of a possible signal can be checked. An (expected) non-observation of a DM decay signal in the planned observations of Willman 1 should not discourage further dedicated observations.
In the recent paper of Hooper & Goodenough (1010.2752) it was reported that gamma-ray emission from the Galactic Center region contains an excess compared to the contributions from the large-scale diffuse emission and known point sources. This excess was argued to be consistent with a signal from annihilation of Dark Matter with a power law density profile. We reanalyze the Fermi data and find instead that it is consistent with the "standard model" of diffuse emission and of known point sources. The main reason for the discrepancy with the interpretation of 1010.2752 is different (as compared to the previous works) spectrum of the point source at the Galactic Center assumed in 1010.2752. We discuss possible reasons for such an interpretation.
We show that the evolution of magnetic fields in a primordial plasma, filled with Standard Model particles, at temperatures T > 10 MeV is strongly affected by the quantum chiral anomaly -- an effect that has been neglected previously. Although reactions equilibrating left and right-chiral electrons are in deep thermal equilibrium for T < 80 TeV, an asymmetry between these particle develops in the presence of strong magnetic fields. This results in magnetic helicity transfer from shorter to longer scales. This also leads to an effective generation of lepton asymmetry that may survive in the plasma down to temperatures T ~ 10 MeV, which may strongly affect many processes in the early Universe. Although we report our results for the Standard Model, they are likely to play an important role also in its extensions.
In thermal equilibrium the ground state of the plasma of Standard Model particles is determined by temperature and exactly conserved combinations of baryon and lepton numbers. We show that at non-zero values of the global charges a translation invariant and homogeneous state of the plasma becomes unstable and the system transits into a new state, containing a large-scale magnetic field. The origin of this effect is the parity-breaking character of weak interactions and chiral anomaly. This situation can occur in the early Universe and may play an important role in its subsequent evolution.
We study the properties of the diffuse gamma-ray background around the Galactic plane at energies 20 -- 200 GeV. We find that the spectrum of this emission possesses significant spacial variations with respect to the average smooth component. The positions and shapes of these spectral features change with the direction on the sky. We therefore argue, that the spectral feature around 130 GeV, found in several regions around the Galactic Center and in the Galactic plane in [1203.1312, 1204.2797, 1205.1045, 1206.1616], can not be interpreted with confidence as a gamma-ray line, but may be a component of the diffuse background and can be of instrumental or astrophysical origin. Therefore, the dark matter origin of this spectral feature becomes dubious.
Cold dark matter models predict the existence of a large number of substructures within dark matter halos. If the cold dark matter consists of weakly interacting massive particles, their annihilation within these substructures could lead to diffuse GeV emission that would dominate over the annihilation signal of the host halo. In this work we search for GeV emission from three nearby galaxy clusters: Coma, Virgo and Fornax. We first remove known extragalactic and galactic diffuse gamma-ray backgrounds and point sources from the Fermi 2-year catalog and find a significant residual diffuse emission in all three clusters. We then investigate whether this emission is due to (i) unresolved point sources; (ii) dark matter annihilation; or (iii) cosmic rays (CR). Using 45 months of Fermi-LAT data we detect several new point sources (not present in the Fermi 2-year point source catalogue) which contaminate the signal previously analyzed by Han et al.(arxiv:1201.1003). Including these and accounting for the effects of undetected point sources, we find no significant detection of extended emission from the three clusters studied. Instead, we determine upper limits on emission due to dark matter annihilation and cosmic rays. For Fornax and Virgo the limits on CR emission are consistent with theoretical models, but for Coma the upper limit is a factor of 2 below the theoretical expectation. Allowing for systematic uncertainties associated with the treatment of CR, the upper limits on the cross section for dark matter annihilation from our clusters are more stringent than those from analyses of dwarf galaxies in the Milky Way. We rule out the thermal cross section for supersymmetric dark matter particles for masses as large as 100 GeV (depending on the annihilation channel).
We review the status of sterile neutrino dark matter and discuss astrophysical and cosmological bounds on its properties as well as future prospects for its experimental searches. We argue that if sterile neutrinos are the dominant fraction of dark matter, detecting an astrophysical signal from their decay (the so-called 'indirect detection') may be the only way to identify these particles experimentally. However, it may be possible to check the dark matter origin of the observed signal unambiguously using its characteristic properties and/or using synergy with accelerator experiments, searching for other sterile neutrinos, responsible for neutrino flavor oscillations. We argue that to fully explore this possibility a dedicated cosmic mission - an X-ray spectrometer - is needed.
The diversity of structures in the Universe (from the smallest galaxies to the largest superclusters) has formed under the pull of gravity from the tiny primordial perturbations that we see imprinted in the cosmic microwave background. A quantitative description of this process would require description of motion of zillions of dark matter particles. This impossible task is usually circumvented by coarse-graining the problem: one either considers a Newtonian dynamics of "particles" with macroscopically large masses or approximates the dark matter distribution with a continuous density field. There is no closed system of equations for the evolution of the matter density field alone and instead it should still be discretized at each timestep. In this work we describe a method of solving the full 6-dimensional Vlasov-Poisson equation via a system of auxiliary Schroedinger-like equations. The complexity of the problem gets shifted into the choice of the number and shape of the initial wavefunctions that should only be specified at the beginning of the computation (we stress that these wavefunctions have nothing to do with quantum nature of the actual dark matter particles). We discuss different prescriptions to generate the initial wave functions from the initial conditions and demonstrate the validity of the technique on two simple test cases. This new simulation algorithm can in principle be used on an arbitrary distribution function, enabling the simulation of warm and hot dark matter structure formation scenarios.
We study the dynamics of a plasma of charged relativistic fermions at very high temperature $T\gg m$, where $m$ is the fermion mass, coupled to the electromagnetic field. In particular, we derive a magneto-hydrodynamical description of the evolution of such a plasma. We show that, as compared to conventional MHD for a plasma of non-relativistic particles, the hydrodynamical description of the relativistic plasma involves new degrees of freedom described by a pseudo-scalar field originating in a local asymmetry in the densities of left-handed and right-handed fermions. This field can be interpreted as an effective axion field. Taking into account the chiral anomaly we present dynamical equations for the evolution of this field, as well as of other fields appearing in the MHD description of the plasma. Due to its non-linear coupling to helical magnetic fields, the axion field significantly affects the dynamics of a magnetized plasma and can give rise to a novel type of inverse cascade.
We propose a strategy of how to look for dark matter (DM) particles possessing a radiative decay channel and derive constraints on their parameters from observations of X-rays from our own Galaxy and its dwarf satellites. When applied to the sterile neutrinos in keV mass range, it allows a significant improvement of restrictions to its parameters, as compared with previous works.
We derived constraints on parameters of a radiatively decaying warm dark matter particle, e.g., the mass and mixing angle for a sterile neutrino, using Chandra X-ray spectra of a galaxy cluster 1E0657-56 (the ``bullet'' cluster). The constraints are based on nondetection of the sterile neutrino decay emission line. This cluster exhibits spatial separation between the hot intergalactic gas and the dark matter, helping to disentangle their X-ray signals. It also has a very long X-ray observation and a total mass measured via gravitational lensing. This makes the resulting constraints on sterile neutrino complementary to earlier results that used different cluster mass estimates. Our limits are comparable to the best existing constraints.
We give a microscopic derivation of the chiral Luttinger liquid theory for the Laughlin states. Starting from the wave function describing an arbitrary incompressibly deformed Laughlin state (IDLS) we quantize these deformations. In this way we obtain the low-energy projections of local microscopic operators and derive the quantum field theory of edge excitations directly from quantum mechanics of electrons. This shows that to describe experimental and numeric deviations from chiral Luttinger liquid theory one needs to go beyond Laughlin's approximation. We show that in the large N limit the IDLS is described by the dispersionless Toda hierarchy.
We canonically quantize the dynamics of the brane universe embedded into the five-dimensional Schwarzschild-anti-deSitter bulk space-time. We show that in the brane-world settings the formulation of the quantum cosmology, including the problem of initial conditions, is conceptually more simple than in the 3+1-dimensional case. The Wheeler-deWitt equation is a finite-difference equation. It is exactly solvable in the case of a flat universe and we find the ground state of the system. The closed brane universe can be created as a result of decay of the bulk black hole.
The anomaly cancellation condition of the Standard Model may be unnatural in theories with extra dimensions as an anomaly of a low-energy 4-dimensional theory can be canceled by an inflow from a bulk. This inflow may give rise to an observable effect at low energies. We analyze several physical models in which this effect exists and estimate constraints on its value, imposed by the modern experimental data. We show that the effect can be large enough to be observed even when these constraints are satisfied. Positive result of such an experiment would be a low-energy signature of the existence of extra dimensions.