A search for ultra-light axions using precision cosmological data

10 Oct 2014  ·  Renée Hlozek, Daniel Grin, David J. E. Marsh, Pedro G. Ferreira ·

Ultra-light axions (ULAs) with masses in the range 10^{-33} eV <m <10^{-20} eV are motivated by string theory and might contribute to either the dark-matter or dark-energy density of the Universe. ULAs could suppress the growth of structure on small scales, or lead to an enhanced integrated Sachs-Wolfe effect on large-scale cosmic microwave-background (CMB) anisotropies... In this work, cosmological observables over the full ULA mass range are computed, and then used to search for evidence of ULAs using CMB data from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), Planck satellite, Atacama Cosmology Telescope, and South Pole Telescope, as well as galaxy clustering data from the WiggleZ galaxy-redshift survey. In the mass range 10^{-32} eV < m <10^{-25.5} eV, the axion relic-density \Omega_{a} (relative to the total dark-matter relic density \Omega_{d}) must obey the constraints \Omega_{a}/\Omega_{d} < 0.05 and \Omega_{a}h^{2} < 0.006 at 95%-confidence. For m> 10^{-24} eV, ULAs are indistinguishable from standard cold dark matter on the length scales probed, and are thus allowed by these data. For m < 10^{-32} eV, ULAs are allowed to compose a significant fraction of the dark energy. read more

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Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics High Energy Physics - Experiment High Energy Physics - Phenomenology High Energy Physics - Theory