Intimate Relationship Between Sterile Neutrino Dark Matter and ΔNeff

Kevin J. Kelly, Manibrata Sen, Yue Zhang.


The self-interacting neutrino hypothesis is well motivated for addressing the tension between the origin of sterile neutrino dark matter and indirect detection constraints. It can also result in a number of testable signals from the laboratories to the cosmos. We explore a model of neutrino self-interaction mediated by a Majoron-like scalar with sub-MeV mass, and show that explaining the relic density of sterile neutrino dark matter implies a lower bound on the amount of extra radiation in early universe, in particular ΔNeff > 0.12 at the CMB epoch. This lower bound will be further strengthened with an improved X-ray search at the Athena observatory. Such an intimate relationship will be unambiguously tested by the upcoming CMB-S4 project.

Associated Fellows