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Title: Cosmological constraints on unstable particles: Numerical bounds and analytic approximations

Abstract

Many extensions of the Standard Model predict large numbers of additional unstable particles whose decays in the early universe are tightly constrained by observational data. For example, the decays of such particles can alter the ratios of light-element abundances, give rise to distortions in the cosmic microwave background, alter the ionization history of the universe, and contribute to the diffuse photon flux. Constraints on new physics from such considerations are typically derived for a single unstable particle species with a single well-defined mass and characteristic lifetime. In this paper, by contrast, we investigate the cosmological constraints on theories involving entire ensembles of decaying particles --- ensembles which span potentially broad ranges of masses and lifetimes. In addition to providing a detailed numerical analysis of these constraints, we also formulate a set of simple analytic approximations for these constraints which may be applied to generic ensembles of unstable particles which decay into electromagnetically-interacting final states. We then illustrate how these analytic approximations can be used to constrain a variety of toy scenarios for physics beyond the Standard Model. For ease of reference, we also compile our results in the form of a table which can be consulted independently of the restmore » of the paper. It is thus our hope that this work might serve as a useful reference for future model-builders concerned with cosmological constraints on decaying particles, regardless of the particular model under study.« less

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
OSTI Identifier:
1494380
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1598041
Grant/Contract Number:  
FG02-13ER41976; SC0009913; SC0010504
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Physical Review D
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Physical Review D Journal Volume: 99 Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 2470-0010
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS

Citation Formats

Dienes, Keith R., Kumar, Jason, Stengel, Patrick, and Thomas, Brooks. Cosmological constraints on unstable particles: Numerical bounds and analytic approximations. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.99.043513.
Dienes, Keith R., Kumar, Jason, Stengel, Patrick, & Thomas, Brooks. Cosmological constraints on unstable particles: Numerical bounds and analytic approximations. United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.99.043513.
Dienes, Keith R., Kumar, Jason, Stengel, Patrick, and Thomas, Brooks. Tue . "Cosmological constraints on unstable particles: Numerical bounds and analytic approximations". United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.99.043513.
@article{osti_1494380,
title = {Cosmological constraints on unstable particles: Numerical bounds and analytic approximations},
author = {Dienes, Keith R. and Kumar, Jason and Stengel, Patrick and Thomas, Brooks},
abstractNote = {Many extensions of the Standard Model predict large numbers of additional unstable particles whose decays in the early universe are tightly constrained by observational data. For example, the decays of such particles can alter the ratios of light-element abundances, give rise to distortions in the cosmic microwave background, alter the ionization history of the universe, and contribute to the diffuse photon flux. Constraints on new physics from such considerations are typically derived for a single unstable particle species with a single well-defined mass and characteristic lifetime. In this paper, by contrast, we investigate the cosmological constraints on theories involving entire ensembles of decaying particles --- ensembles which span potentially broad ranges of masses and lifetimes. In addition to providing a detailed numerical analysis of these constraints, we also formulate a set of simple analytic approximations for these constraints which may be applied to generic ensembles of unstable particles which decay into electromagnetically-interacting final states. We then illustrate how these analytic approximations can be used to constrain a variety of toy scenarios for physics beyond the Standard Model. For ease of reference, we also compile our results in the form of a table which can be consulted independently of the rest of the paper. It is thus our hope that this work might serve as a useful reference for future model-builders concerned with cosmological constraints on decaying particles, regardless of the particular model under study.},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevD.99.043513},
journal = {Physical Review D},
number = 4,
volume = 99,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {2}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
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DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.99.043513

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Cited by: 2 works
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