Gravitino and Polonyi production in supergravity [CL]

We study production of gravitino and Polonyi particles in the minimal Starobinsky-Polonyi $\mathcal{N}=1$ supergravity with inflaton belonging to a massive vector supermultiplet. Our model has only one free parameter given by the scale of spontaneous SUSY breaking triggered by Polonyi chiral superfield. The vector supermultiplet generically enters the action non-minimally, via an arbitrary real function. This functon is chosen to generate the inflaton scalar potential of the Starobinsky model. Our supergravity model can be reformulated as an abelian supersymmetric gauge theory with the vector gauge superfield coupled to two (Higgs and Polonyi) chiral superfields interacting with supergravity, where the $U(1)$ gauge symmetry is spontaneously broken. We find that Polonyi and gravitino particles are efficiently produced during inflation. After inflation, perturbative decay of inflaton also produces Polonyi particles that rapidly decay into gravitinos. As a result, a coherent picture of inflation and dark matter emerges, where the abundance of produced gravitinos after inflation fits the CMB constraints as a Super Heavy Dark Matter (SHDM) candidate. Our scenario avoids the notorous gravitino and Polonyi problems with the Big Bang Nucleosynthesis (BBN) and DM overproduction.

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A. Addazi, S. Ketov and M. Khlopov
Mon, 21 Aug 17

Comments: N/A

Using the Full Power of the Cosmic Microwave Background to Probe Axion Dark Matter [CEA]

The cosmic microwave background (CMB) places strong constraints on models of dark matter (DM) that deviate from standard cold DM (CDM), and on initial conditions beyond the scalar adiabatic mode. Here, the full \textit{Planck} data set (including temperature, $E$-mode polarisation, and lensing deflection) is used to test the possibility that some fraction of the DM is composed of ultralight axions (ULAs). This represents the first use of CMB lensing to test the ULA model. We find no evidence for a ULA component in the mass range $10^{-33}\leq m_a\leq 10^{-24}\text{ eV}$. We put percent-level constraints on the ULA contribution to the DM, improving by up to a factor of two compared to the case with temperature anisotropies alone. Axion DM also provides a low-energy window onto the high-energy physics of inflation through the interplay between the vacuum misalignment production of axions and isocurvature perturbations. We perform the first systematic investigation into the parameter space of ULA isocurvature, using an accurate isocurvature transfer function at all $m_{a}$ values. We precisely identify a “window of co-existence” for $10^{-25}\text{ eV}\leq m_a\leq10^{-24}\text{ eV}$ where the data allow, simultaneously, a $\sim10\%$ contribution of ULAs to the DM, and $\sim 1\%$ contributions of isocurvature and tensors to the CMB power. ULAs in this window (and \textit{all} lighter ULAs) are shown to be consistent with a large inflationary Hubble parameter, $H_I\sim 10^{14}\text{ GeV}$. The window of co-existence will be fully probed by proposed CMB-S4 observations with increased accuracy in the high-$\ell$ lensing power and low-$\ell$ $E$ and $B$-mode polarisation. If ULAs in the window exist, this could allow for two independent measurements of $H_I$ in the CMB using the axion DM content and isocurvature, and the tensor contribution to $B$-modes.

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R. Hlozek, D. Marsh and D. Grin
Mon, 21 Aug 17

Comments: 15+8 pages, 12+4 figures, chains available online at this http URL, code at this https URL

On Thermal Gravitational Contribution to Particle Production and Dark Matter [CL]

We investigate the particle production from thermal gravitational annihilation in the very early universe, which is an important contribution for particles that might not be in thermal equilibrium or/and only have gravitational interaction, such as dark matter (DM). For particles with spin 0, 1/2 and 1 we calculate the relevant cross sections through gravitational annihilation and give the analytic formulas with full mass-dependent terms. We find that DM with mass between TeV and $10^{16}$GeV could have the relic abundance that fits the observation, with small dependence on its spin. We also discuss the effects of gravitational annihilation from inflatons. Interestingly, contributions from inflatons could be dominant and have the same power dependence on Hubble parameter of inflation as that from vacuum fluctuation. Also, fermion production from inflatons, in comparison to boson, is suppressed by its mass due to helicity selection.

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Y. Tang and Y. Wu
Fri, 18 Aug 17

Comments: 10 pages, 3 figures and 2 tables

A combined analysis of PandaX, LUX, and XENON1T experiments within the framework of dark matter effective theory [CL]

Weakly interacting massive particles are a widely well-probed dark matter candidate by the dark matter direct detection experiments. Theoretically, there are a large number of ultraviolet completed models that consist of a weakly interacting massive particle dark matter. The variety of models make the comparison with the direct detection data complicated and often non-trivial. To overcome this, in the non-relativistic limit, the effective theory was developed in the literature which works very well to significantly reduce the complexity of dark matter-nucleon interactions and to better study the nuclear response functions. In the effective theory framework for a spin-1/2 dark matter, we combine three independent likelihood functions from the latest PandaX, LUX, and XENON1T data, and give a joint limit on each effective coupling. The astrophysical uncertainties of the dark matter distribution are also included in the likelihood. We further discuss the isospin violating cases of the interactions. Finally, for both dimension-five and dimension-six effective theories above the electroweak scale, we give updated limits of the new physics mass scales.

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Z. Liu, Y. Su, Y. Tsai, et. al.
Thu, 17 Aug 17

Comments: 31 pages, 10 figures, “code will be available soon in the LikeDM website, this https URL

Damping of an oscillating scalar field indirectly coupled to a thermal bath [CL]

The damping process of a homogeneous oscillating scalar field that indirectly interacts with a thermal bath through a mediator field is investigated over a wide range of model parameters. We consider two types of mediator fields, those that can decay to the thermal bath and those that are individually stable but pair annihilate. The former case has been extensively studied in the literature by treating the damping as a local effect after integrating out the assumed close-to-equilibrium mediator field. The same approach does not apply if the mediator field is stable and freezes out of equilibrium. To account for the latter case, we adopt a non-local description of damping that is only meaningful when we consider full half-oscillations of the field being damped. The damping rates of the oscillating scalar field and the corresponding heating rate of the thermal bath in all bulk parameter regions are calculated in both cases, corroborating previous results in the direct decay case. Using the obtained results, the time it takes for the amplitude of the scalar field to be substantially damped is estimated.

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E. Tanin and E. Stewart
Thu, 17 Aug 17

Comments: 39 pages, 9 figures, 1 table

The symmetry energy in nucleon and quark matter [CL]

The symmetry energy characterizes the isospin dependent part of the equation of state of isospin asymmetric strong interaction matter and it plays a critical role in many issues of nuclear physics and astrophysics. In this talk, we briefly review the current status on the determination of the symmetry energy in nucleon (nuclear) and quark matter. For nuclear matter, while the subsaturation density behaviors of the symmetry energy are relatively well-determined and significant progress has been made on the symmetry energy around saturation density, the determination of the suprasaturation density behaviors of the symmetry energy remains a big challenge. For quark matter, which is expected to appear in dense matter at high baryon densities, we briefly review the recent work about the effects of quark matter symmetry energy on the properties of quark stars and the implication of possible existence of heavy quark stars on quark matter symmetry energy. The results indicate that the $u$ and $d$ quarks could feel very different interactions in isospin asymmetric quark matter, which may have important implications on the isospin effects of partonic dynamics in relativistic heavy-ion collisions.

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L. Chen
Wed, 16 Aug 17

Comments: 8 pages, 5 figures. Invited talk given at 2016 Dalian International Workshop on Nuclear Physics (2016DIWNP), July 20-23, 2016, Dalian, China

Axion minicluster power spectrum and mass function [CEA]

When Peccei-Quinn (PQ) symmetry breaking happens after inflation, the axion field takes random values in causally disconnected regions. This leads to fluctuations of order one in the axion energy density around the QCD epoch. These over-densities eventually decouple from the Hubble expansion and form so-called miniclusters. We present a semi-analytical method to calculate the average axion energy density, as well as the power spectrum, from the re-alignment mechanism in this scenario. Furthermore, we develop a modified Press & Schechter approach, suitable to describe the collapse of non-linear density fluctuations during radiation domination, which is relevant for the formation of axion miniclusters. It allows us to calculate the double differential distribution of gravitationally collapsed miniclusters as a function of their mass and size. For instance, assuming a PQ scale of $10^{11}$ GeV, minicluster masses range from about $5 \times 10^{-16}$ to $3 \times 10^{-13}$ solar masses and have sizes from about $4\times 10^4$ to $7\times 10^5$ km at the time they start to collapse.

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J. Enander, A. Pargner and T. Schwetz
Wed, 16 Aug 17

Comments: 25 pages, 6 figures