Charged Planckian Interacting Dark Matter

Preprint number: CP3-Origins-2018-36 DNRF90
Authors: Mathias Garny (Technische Universitat Munchen), Andrea Palessandro (CP3-Origins), McCullen Sandora (Tufts University), and Martin S. Sloth (CP3-Origins)

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A minimal model of Cold Dark Matter (CDM) is a very massive particle with only gravitational interactions, also called Planckian Interacting Dark Matter (PIDM). Here we consider an extension of the PIDM framework by an unbroken $U(1)$ gauge symmetry under which the PIDM is charged, but remains only gravitationally coupled to the Standard Model (SM). Contrary to “hidden charged dark matter”, the charged PIDM never reaches thermal equilibrium with the SM. The dark sector is populated by freeze-in via gravitational interactions at reheating. If the dark fine-structure constant $alpha_D$ is larger than about $10^{-3}$, the dark sector thermalizes within itself, and the PIDM abundance is further modified by freeze-out in the dark sector. Interestingly, this largely reduces the dependence of the final abundance on the reheating temperature, as compared to an uncharged PIDM. Thermalization within the dark sector is driven by inelastic radiative processes, and affected by the Landau-Pomeranchuk-Migdal (LPM) effect. The observed CDM abundance can be obtained over a wide mass range from the weak to the GUT scale, and for phenomenologically interesting couplings $alpha_Dsim 10^{-2}$. Due to the different thermal history, the charged PIDM can be discriminated from “hidden charged dark matter” by more precise measurements of the effective number of neutrino species $N_{rm eff}$.