A new analysis by a team of physicists offers an innovative way to predict “cosmological signatures” for dark matter models.
A team of physicists has developed a method to predict the composition of dark matter – invisible matter that is only detected by its gravity On ordinary thing and whose discovery has long been sought after by scientists.
His work, which appears in the magazine Physical Assessment Letters, focuses on predicting “cosmological signatures” for models of dark matter with masses between that of the electron and the proton. Previous methods had predicted similar signatures for simpler models of dark matter. This research establishes new ways to find these signatures in more complex models, which experiments continue to look for, the paper authors note.
“Dark matter searching experiments aren’t the only way to learn more about this mysterious type of matter,” said Cara Giovanetti, a Ph.D. student in New York University’s Department of Physics and the lead author of the paper.
“Precision measurements of various parameters of the universe, for example the amount of helium in the universe or the temperatures of different particles in the universe. early universe— can also teach us a lot about dark matter,” adds Giovanetti, who outlines the method described in the Physical Assessment Letters paper.
In the study, conducted with Hongwan Liu, a postdoctoral researcher at NYU, Joshua Ruderman, an associate professor in NYU’s Department of Physics, and Princeton physicist Mariangela Lisanti, Giovanetti and her co-authors focused on big bang nucleosynthesis (BBN) – a process in which light forms of matter, such as helium, hydrogen and lithium, are created. The presence of invisible dark matter affects how each of these elements will form. Also vital to these phenomena is the cosmic microwave background (CMB)—electromagnetic radiationgenerated by combining electrons and protons, which were left over from the formation of the universe.
The team looked for a way to detect the presence of a specific category of dark matter – those with a mass between that of the electron and the proton – by creating models that take into account both BBN and CMB.
“Such dark matter can alter the abundances of certain elements produced in the early universe and leave an imprint in the cosmic microwave background by altering how fast the universe is expanding,” explains Giovanetti.
In its research, the team made predictions of cosmological signatures associated with the presence of certain forms of dark matter. These signatures are the result of dark matter changing the temperature of various particles or changing how fast the universe is expanding.
Their results showed that dark matter that is too light will lead to different amounts of light elements than what astrophysical observations show.
“Lighter forms of dark matter could cause the universe to expand so quickly that these elements don’t have a chance to form,” says Giovanetti, who outlines a scenario.
Cara Giovanetti et al, Joint Cosmic Microwave Background and Big Bang Nucleosynthesis Constraints on Light Dark Sectors with Dark Radiation, Physical Assessment Letters (2022). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.129.021302
New York University
Quote: Predicting Dark Matter Composition (2022, July 6), retrieved July 6, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-07-composition-dark.html
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