A Hidden Dark Matter Sector, Dark Radiation, and the CMB

25 Aug 2015, 17:15


Particle Cosmology Theory and Experiment Particle Cosmology


Mr Sungwoo Hong (University of Maryland, College Park)


We consider theories where dark matter is composed of a thermal relic of weak scale mass, whose couplings to the Standard Model (SM) are however too small to give rise to the observed abundance. Instead, the abundance is set by annihilation to light hidden sector states that carry no charges under the SM gauge interactions. In such a scenario the constraints from direct and indirect detection, and from collider searches for dark matter, can easily be satisfied. The masses of such light hidden states can be protected by symmetry if they are Nambu-Goldstone bosons, fermions, or gauge bosons. These states can then contribute to the cosmic energy density as dark radiation, leading to observable signals in the cosmic microwave background (CMB). Furthermore, depending on whether or not the light hidden sector states self-interact, the fraction of the total energy density that free-streams is either decreased or increased, leading to characteristic effects on both the scalar and tensor components of the CMB anisotropy that allows these two cases to be distinguished. The magnitude of these signals depends on the number of light degrees of freedom in the hidden sector, and on the temperature at which it kinetically decouples from the SM. We consider a simple model that realizes this scenario, based on a framework in which the SM and hidden sector are initially in thermal equilibrium through the Higgs portal, and show that the resulting signals are compatible with recent Planck results, while large enough to be detected in upcoming experiments such as CMBPol and CMB Stage-IV. Invisible decays of the Higgs into hidden sector states at colliders can offer a complementary probe of this model.

Primary authors

Mr Sungwoo Hong (University of Maryland, College Park) Prof. Takemichi Okui (Florida State University) Dr Yanou Cui (Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics) Prof. Zackaria Chacko (University of Maryland, College Park)

Presentation Materials