MAM seminar : Dark radiation from particle decay: cosmological constraints and opportunities

Thursday May 2nd 2013, 2:00pm - coffee room 

Speaker:Joern Kersten


We study particle decay as the origin of dark radiation. After elaborating general properties and useful parametrisations we provide model-independent and easy-to-use constraints from nucleosynthesis, the cosmic microwave background and structure formation.

Bounds on branching ratios and mass hierarchies depend in a unique way on the time of decay. We demonstrate their power to exclude well-motivated scenarios taking the example of the lightest ordinary sparticle decaying into the gravitino. We point out signatures and opportunities in cosmological observations and structure formation. For example, if there are two dark decay modes, dark radiation and the observed dark matter with adjustable free-streaming can originate from the same decay, solving small-scale problems of structure formation. Hot dark matter mimicking a neutrino mass scale as deduced from cosmological observations can arise and possibly be distinguished after a discovery. Our results can be used as a guideline for model building.



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