Wandering in the Lyman-Alpha Forest: A Study of Dark Matter-Dark Radiation Interactions
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CitationKrall, Rebecca, Francis-Yan Cyr-Racine, and Cora Dvorkin. 2017. Wandering in the Lyman-Alpha Forest: A Study of Dark Matter-Dark Radiation Interactions. Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics 2017, September.
AbstractThe amplitude of large-scale matter fluctuations inferred from the observed Sunyaev-Zeldovich (SZ) cluster mass function and from weak gravitational lensing studies, when taken at face value, is in tension with measurements of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) and baryon acoustic oscillation (BAO). In this work, we revisit whether this possible discrepancy can be attributed to new interactions in the dark matter sector. Focusing on a cosmological model where dark matter interacts with a dark radiation species until the epoch of matter-radiation equality, we find that measurements of the Lyman-alpha flux power spectrum from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey provide no support to the hypothesis that new dark matter interactions can resolve the possible tension between CMB and large-scale structure (LSS). Indeed, while the addition of dark matter-dark radiation interactions leads to an improvement of 2Δ ln Script L=12 with respect to the standard Λ cold dark matter (ΛCDM) model when only CMB, BAO, and LSS data are considered, the inclusion of Lyman-alpha data reduces the improvement of the fit to 2Δ ln Script L=6 relative to ΛCDM . We thus conclude that the statistical evidence for new dark matter interactions (largely driven by the Planck SZ dataset) is marginal at best, and likely caused by systematics in the data. We also perform a Fisher forecast analysis for the reach of a future dataset composed of a CMB-S4 experiment combined with the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope galaxy survey. We find that the constraint on the effective number of fluid-like dark radiation species, Δ Nfluid, will be improved by an order of magnitude compared to current bounds.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:41288101
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