Dark matter production from the primordial heat bath

Torsten Bringmann, FI

Weekly Theory Seminar.


Dark matter is an essential building block in the standard model of cosmology. Any theoretical description in terms of hypothetical new particles must therefore include a production mechanism that can explain, with sufficient accuracy, the presently observed dark matter density. In this talk I will briefly review some of the most compelling arguments in favour of the dark matter hypothesis, and give a pedagogic overview of the most often discussed frameworks for dark matter production from the primordial thermal bath of standard model particles - namely the 'freeze-out' of particles initially in full equilibrium with the standard model and the 'freeze-in' of particles too feebly interacting to ever equilibrize, respectively. I will then introduce a newly proposed generic production scenario that features an era of exponential ('pandemic') growth of the dark matter density. As a concrete application, I demonstrate how this opens up highly relevant -- and relatively shortly testable -- new 
parameter space for sterile neutrino dark matter.

(The slides will be available here)

Published Aug. 17, 2022 9:04 AM - Last modified Aug. 17, 2022 9:04 AM