High Energy Physics Seminar: Dr. Jakub Scholtz, Harvard University  Add To Calendar

  • Date(s): Wednesday, 3/15 1:30 PM to Wednesday, 3/15 2:30 PM
  • Speaker: Dr. Jakub Scholtz
  • Host: James Unwin
  • Campus Address: 2214 SES (Science and Engineering South)

Title: Dark Catalysis

Abstract: Recently it was shown that dark matter with mass of order the weak scale can be charged under a new long-range force, decoupled from the Standard Model, with only weak constraints from early Universe cosmology. Here we consider the implications of an additional charged particle C that is light enough to lead to significant dissipative dynamics on galactic times scales. We highlight several novel features of this model, which can be relevant even when the C particle constitutes only a small fraction of the number density (and energy density). We assume a small asymmetric abundance of the C particle whose charge is compensated by a heavy X particle so that the relic abundance of dark matter consists mostly of symmetric X and $\bar{X}$, with a small asymmetric component made up of X and C. As the universe cools, it undergoes asymmetric recombination binding the free Cs into (XC) dark atoms efficiently. Even with a tiny asymmetric component, the presence of C particles catalyzes tight coupling between the heavy dark matter X and the dark photon plasma that can lead to a significant suppression of the matter power spectrum on small scales and lead to some of the strongest bounds on such dark matter theories. We find a viable parameter space where structure formation constraints are satisfied and significant dissipative dynamics can occur in galactic haloes but show a large region is excluded. Our model shows that subdominant components in the dark sector can dramatically affect structure formation.

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