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Title: Dark radiation from particle decay: cosmological constraints and opportunities

We study particle decay as the origin of dark radiation. After elaborating general properties and useful parametrisations we provide model-independent and easy-to-use constraints from nucleosynthesis, the cosmic microwave background and structure formation. Bounds on branching ratios and mass hierarchies depend in a unique way on the time of decay. We demonstrate their power to exclude well-motivated scenarios taking the example of the lightest ordinary sparticle decaying into the gravitino. We point out signatures and opportunities in cosmological observations and structure formation. For example, if there are two dark decay modes, dark radiation and the observed dark matter with adjustable free-streaming can originate from the same decaying particle, solving small-scale problems of structure formation. Hot dark matter mimicking a neutrino mass scale as deduced from cosmological observations can arise and possibly be distinguished after a discovery. Our results can be used as a guideline for model building.
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. II. Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of Hamburg, 22761 Hamburg (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22282716
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics; Journal Volume: 2013; Journal Issue: 08; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ASTROPHYSICS; BRANCHING RATIO; COSMOLOGY; LIMITING VALUES; MASS; NEUTRINOS; NONLUMINOUS MATTER; NUCLEOSYNTHESIS; PARTICLE DECAY; RELICT RADIATION; VISIBLE RADIATION