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Dark matter: degrees of freedom

+ 3 like - 0 dislike
24 views

I'm afraid this question could sound a little too vague. I don't even know if dark matter (DM) can be genuinely described by quantum field theory, or if quantum field theory should be somehow "modified" in order to include dark matter.

Assuming that ordinary QFT describes DM, what can be said (or what is known) about the number of degrees of freedom dark matter should have?

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-17 04:23 (UCT), posted by SE-user c.p.
asked Oct 8, 2012 in Theoretical Physics by c.p. (50 points) [ no revision ]
personally, I'm fond of conformal gravity, which gets rid of the need for DM by replacing the Einstein field equations

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-17 04:23 (UCT), posted by SE-user Christoph
doesn't that reference only account for the rotation curves of (certain) galaxies? shouldn't anything else be overcome?

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-17 04:23 (UCT), posted by SE-user c.p.

2 Answers

+ 4 like - 0 dislike

It is trivial to design a dark matter candidate that is compatible with quantum field theory: massive sterile neutrinos are a moderately popular possibility already.

But that doesn't prove anything, because it is just a dark matter candidate. Indeed the question is rather speculative until we know something about what the dark matter is rather than just things about what it isn't.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-17 04:23 (UCT), posted by SE-user dmckee
answered Oct 8, 2012 by dmckee (420 points) [ no revision ]
thanks, how many degrees of freedom then?

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-17 04:23 (UCT), posted by SE-user c.p.
Two per flavor if they are Majorana, or four if Dirac. The data do not as yet indicate how many sterile flavors there might be, but in some models there is more phase space available for two or three than for one.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-17 04:23 (UCT), posted by SE-user dmckee
Thanks @dmckee. What does one understand by "more phase space" available? I mean, between the things one knows about what dark matter isn't, which one gives preference to three or two generations over one? (Sorry, should I pose a separate question about it? [it might not be worthy])

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-17 04:23 (UCT), posted by SE-user c.p.
@JorgeCampos The combination of the many neutrino oscillation experiments puts some limits on the combination of $\theta_{nm}$'s and $\Delta m^2_{nm}$'s that are consistent with the data. It turns out that there are few viable combination where there is only one sterile flavor, and rather more if there are more than one. There have been a number of preprints on the matter in recent years. I'll see if I can find you a reference.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-17 04:23 (UCT), posted by SE-user dmckee
Thanks I'd appreciate that reference very much!

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-17 04:23 (UCT), posted by SE-user c.p.
Try prd.aps.org/abstract/PRD/v70/i7/e073004 (pay link) and perhaps the rather extensive white paper arXiv:1204.5379.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-17 04:23 (UCT), posted by SE-user dmckee
+ 2 like - 0 dislike

Dark matter candidates can quite naturally be described for example by supersymmetric quantum field theories. The MSSM (Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model) is the simplest but not necessarily the most realistic version of these types of effective theories to describe nature, taking the so far obtained LHC results into account. Since R-parity is assumed to be conserved in the MSSM, the lightest supersymmetric particle (LSP) of its spectrum, for example a neutralino, is stable and could therfore serve as a dark matter candidate. The MSSM doubles the numbers of particles of the standard model and it contains a total number of five not eaten higgs particles (the graviton and the gravitino should not be included in the picture of the spectrum since gravity is not included in the MSSM).

answered Oct 8, 2012 by Dilaton (4,175 points) [ revision history ]

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