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Title: Axion-assisted production of sterile neutrino dark matter

Sterile neutrinos can be generated in the early universe through oscillations with active neutrinos and represent a popular and well-studied candidate for our Universe’s dark matter. Stringent constraints from X-ray and gamma-ray line searches, however, have excluded the simplest of such models. Here in this paper, we propose a novel alternative to the standard scenario in which the mixing angle between the sterile and active neutrinos is a dynamical quantity, induced through interactions with a light axionlike field. As the energy density of the axionlike particles is diluted by Hubble expansion, the degree of mixing is reduced at late times, suppressing the decay rate and easily alleviating any tension with X-ray or gamma-ray constraints. Lastly, we present a simple model which illustrates the phenomenology of this scenario, and also describe a framework in which the QCD axion is responsible for the production of sterile neutrinos in the early universe.
Authors:
ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States); Univ. of Chicago, IL (United States). Enrico Fermi Inst.
  2. Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States). Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics; Univ. of Chicago, IL (United States). Dept. of Astronomy and Astrophysics; Univ. of Chicago, IL (United States). Kavli Inst. for Cosmological Physics (KICP)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-76SF00515; AC02-07CH11359
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review D
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 95; Journal Issue: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 2470-0010
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Research Org:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; 72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS
OSTI Identifier:
1360757
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1351688