PIRSA:14060026  ( MP4 Medium Res , MP3 , PDF ) Which Format?
Cosmological Constraints on Ultra-light Axions
Speaker(s): David Marsh
Abstract: Ultra-light axions (ULAs) with masses in the range 1e-33 eV< m < 1e-18 eV can constitute a novel component of the dark matter, which can be constrained by cosmological observations. ULA dark matter (DM) is produced non-thermally via vacuum realignment in the early universe and is cold. Pressure perturbations, however, manifest a scale in the clustering (also the de Broglie scale). For the range of masses considered this spans the Hubble scale down to sub-galactic scales. In the model-independent adiabatic mode of initial conditions, one can gain strong constraints on ULAs as DM from the CMB and large scale structure (LSS). I will present constraints from Planck and WiggleZ, constraining m~1e-33 eV to 1e-25 eV at the percent level. In the range mgtrsim 1e-22 eV ULAs may also solve the "small-scale problems" of CDM, and suggest other constraints from LSS and high-z observations, constraining mlesssim 1e-22 eV to be sub-dominant in DM. Future prospects from CMB lensing, and from Euclid galaxy weak lensing, will make sub-percent constraints out to m~1e-21 eV. Model-dependent couplings between axions and photons provide still other bounds from CMB spectral distortions. Finally, if the inflationary energy scale is high, corresponding to an observable tensor-to-scalar ratio, then CMB isocurvature perturbations provide the strongest constraints on m>1e-24 eV, ruling out ULA dark matter in the simplest inflationary scenarios over the entire range considered, as well as the "anthropic window" for the QCD axion.
Date: 18/06/2014 - 11:30 am
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