How massive do neutrinos need to be to account for all dark matter?

In summary: I haven't checked...)(Mentor's note: Removed references to unacceptable source)In summary, the mass and temperature of neutrinos play a crucial role in determining whether they could contribute to the dark matter effect. The current temperature of the cosmic neutrino background is estimated to be around 1.95 K, but they would have been much hotter when the cosmic microwave background was emitted. Neutrinos are considered hot dark matter because they were relativistic at the time of decoupling, while cold dark matter particles were non-relativistic. The sterile neutrino, a potential candidate for dark matter, would fall under the category of warm dark matter due to its putative mass in the 10 Kev range. However, the currently
  • #1
edpell
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How massive would the neutrinos have to be so that relic neutrino from the big bang would account for all dark matter?
 
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  • #2
It's not a matter of amount, but of temperature. Neutrinos are light enough that they still have quite a lot of kinetic energy while galaxies are first starting to form. This means that they are simply moving too fast to become captured by gravitational potential wells.

A universe where neutrinos were dark matter would look very, very different from the one we observe.
 
  • #3
Wikipedia offers "It is estimated that today the CνB has a temperature of roughly 1.95 K". How cool do they have to be to contribute to the dark matter effect?
 
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  • #4
edpell said:
Wikipedia offers "It is estimated that today the CνB has a temperature of roughly 1.95 K". How cool do they have to be to contribute to the dark matter effect?
That's their current temperature. They would have been much hotter when the CMB was emitted (thousands of degrees).

I don't know just how cold they had to be.
 
  • #5
Why is it a matter of temperature?
It depends on both mass and temperature. Too heavy neutrinos would contribute to CDM.
However what Dark Matter are you referring to? Hot or Cold dark matter?
 
  • #6
Hot or cold? Tell me more. I did not know there were two kinds.
 
  • #7
Hot DM= relativistic at the time of decoupling
Cold DM= non-relativistic at the time of decoupling
 
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The sterile neutrino, an oft cited DM candidate, would be considered warm dark matter. It has a putative mass in the 10 Kev range. Cosmological models based on warm dark matter appear plausible.
 
  • #9
ChrisVer said:
Why is it a matter of temperature?
It depends on both mass and temperature. Too heavy neutrinos would contribute to CDM.
However what Dark Matter are you referring to? Hot or Cold dark matter?
Yes, it's true that if there were another neutrino that was much heavier than the electron, mu, and tau neutrinos, it could make up the dark matter particle. But the three neutrino types that we have detected can't do the job because they are too light.
 
  • #10
edpell said:
Wikipedia offers "It is estimated that today the CνB has a temperature of roughly 1.95 K". How cool do they have to be to contribute to the dark matter effect?

Neutrinos are dark matter, in a sense that they represent massive (meaning not-massless), almost non-interacting particles. But since it seems that their rest masses are in milli-eV's, it means that at their current temperature (as you said, ~2K) their _velocity_ is very high, and they move too fast to enter an orbit around even the largest concentrations of mass. They are, orbitally speaking, hyperbolic. Their density fluctuations are becoming less pronounced with time, they "smear out".

Thus, this particular class of dark matter particles can't explain galaxy formation, a process which lead to the "dark matter hypothesis". This hypothesis needs much slower moving dark matter particles.

Dark matter particles can be slower moving at the same temp if they are more massive. Or, there can be an exotic mechanism which somehow drains them of their velocity (for example, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axion theory has a light, but very "cold", slow moving dark matter particles).
 
  • #11
nikkkom said:
Dark matter particles can be slower moving at the same temp if they are more massive. Or, there can be an exotic mechanism which somehow drains them of their velocity (for example, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axion theory has a light, but very "cold", slow moving dark matter particles).
I don't think that there's any sort of exotic mechanism which drains axions of their velocity. It's just that most WIMP models assume thermal production, which means high velocities for lighter particles. Axions aren't produced thermally, but as a result of a phase transition in the early universe. Because they are produced much earlier than with other dark matter models, they end up at a much lower temperature, and so have low velocity despite their small mass.

The physics is essentially identical between this effect and the effect that causes neutrinos to be slightly cooler than photons (~2K vs. ~3K): as one form of matter becomes non-relativistic, the particles and anti-particles annihilate, dumping the energy that was in those particles into photons. This heats up the photons, and anything else that interacts with them. Any form of matter that was non-interacting at that time doesn't pick up this extra heat, and so ends up colder.

For example, neutrino decoupling happened at around 1MeV, a temperature at which protons are already non-relativistic, but electrons are still relativistic. So the energy from electron-positron annihilation after neutrino decoupling heats up the photons a little bit, but the neutrinos are unaffected.

Edit: I decided to double-check, and I guess I'm mistaken. The axion velocity is so low not because of normal temperature damping, but because their production mechanism produces them with essentially no velocity. This article goes into a little bit of detail on the subject:
http://web.mit.edu/redingtn/www/netadv/specr/345/node3.html
 
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  • #13
In fact, I heard of another way of explaining Hot/Cold DM... which relates the particles with their ability of forming structures...
CDM has formed structures so far [eg exist in galaxy halos etc]...whereas HDM is still freely-streaming the universe...
 
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Maybe dark matter does not exist? Why is this never discussed?

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  • #15
John_QPublic said:
Maybe dark matter does not exist? Why is this never discussed?

It is discussed. There have been many debates also on the topic ( MOND vs DM) ...
Several observations however, imply that there is something missing... For me DM is much more interesting as a candidate, and can solve more problems than just the observed (especially in the particle physics standard model)...e.g. the axions except for being candidates of CDM, can also solve the strong CP-problem...SUSY with neutralinos also has its advantages... and so on...
but this question, could be a distinct thread (if it's not already out there)
 
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  • #16
Dark matter is a tough one. Dark energy can be discarded, and there are plenty of models that still fit the observations (except one must discard the almost dogmatic Copernican Principle). But dark matter, though less significant overall, is a harder metaphysical substance to discard, because ultimately the only way to get rid of it may be to go back to the aether without universal gravity. In that case we start from where we left off over 100 years ago!
 
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:confused: How can you discard Dark Energy ? (~70% of the whole universe according to observations)
I am not sure I understand the comment on the aether against "universal" (??) gravity. There is no aether...
 
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You can discard dark energy by going to an LTB model, or the expanding wave model (Smoeller), or some of the Bianchi branch models as studied by Ellis, etc. My point was that discarding dark matter is actually more difficult than discarding dark energy, because the options are less satisfying to modern physics (i.e., aether).
 
  • #19
ChrisVer said:
In fact, I heard of another way of explaining Hot/Cold DM... which relates the particles with their ability of forming structures...
CDM has formed structures so far [eg exist in galaxy halos etc]...whereas HDM is still freely-streaming the universe...

"Ability to form structures" and "low velocity" in this case are directly related. Fast-moving dark matter particles are hyperbolic. Slow-moving ones are in bound orbits around clumps of mass.
 
  • #20
ChrisVer said:
:confused: How can you discard Dark Energy ? (~70% of the whole universe according to observations)

The only evidence for Dark Energy is acceleration of uniform expansion. If someone comes up with another explanation of it, then Dark Energy hypothesis is no longer needed.
 
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  • #21
There are many other explanations for it, but they all violate the Copernican Principle. So once again, philosophy interferes with science.
 
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nikkkom said:
"Ability to form structures" and "low velocity" in this case are directly related. Fast-moving dark matter particles are hyperbolic. Slow-moving ones are in bound orbits around clumps of mass.

Yes indeed. However this "mass vs temperature" thing (which I used to explain the HDM/CDM), can be quite misleading in some cases... eg. MACHOs can contribute to DM, and axions can be very light (mass from a few micro-eV to milli-eV) and yet be cold ... (of course the axions are created in "rest").

John_QPublic said:
You can discard dark energy by going to an LTB model, or the expanding wave model (Smoeller), or some of the Bianchi branch models as studied by Ellis, etc. My point was that discarding dark matter is actually more difficult than discarding dark energy, because the options are less satisfying to modern physics (i.e., aether).

I gave a fast search for LTB, and I reached this http://arxiv.org/pdf/0709.2044v1.pdf
Of course you can play around a lot, but what is the reason of trying to replace FRW with something like this? With our observations we see that FRW is a very good metric, which you can perturb instead to create the anisotropies But OK I haven't seen all of these theories and their predictions...But...
In the above mentioned paper, they make a weird comment that the cosmological constant should be absent...From GR I've seen that there is no reason to discard it, it appears in the extraction of the EoM (or Einstein Equations). So, I wonder, why would someone be as fine with it being 0 and not with it being very small? Some theories can explain this smallness, but they are out of experimental reach.
But maybe we should be moved to another thread...
 
  • #23
ChrisVer said:
Yes indeed. However this "mass vs temperature" thing (which I used to explain the HDM/CDM), can be quite misleading in some cases... eg. MACHOs can contribute to DM, and axions can be very light (mass from a few micro-eV to milli-eV) and yet be cold ... (of course the axions are created in "rest").

Nitpick: it's really not temperature, but velocity. A particle with rest mass of, say, 5 micro-eVs, and a 15 kilo-eV particle have vastly different velocities at the same temperature (kinetic energy). Bound-ness of orbits depends on velocity, not kinetic energy.
 
  • #24
John_QPublic said:
Maybe dark matter does not exist? Why is this never discussed?

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The evidence does not support his conclusion. Modified gravity models to account for observations have generally failed. I'm pretty sure that there has not been any gravity model that has been able to explain the Bullet Cluster without dark matter, for example (the one that claims to makes use of extra neutrinos, i.e. another form of dark matter).
 
  • #25
Keep in mind that neutrinos can travel at speeds very close to the speed of light which means they're mass is minimum ( according to relativity since E=mc2), so it would have to be a ridiculous number of them. Neutralinos, on the other hand, have a mass of approximately 30-500 times that of a proton so Neutralinos are a better candidate for Dark Matter than neutrinos though they are still hypothetical and have not been proved to exist. Dark Matter might not even exist at all.
 

1. What is the current understanding of dark matter?

The current understanding of dark matter is that it is a type of matter that does not interact with light or other forms of electromagnetic radiation, making it invisible to traditional telescopes. It is thought to make up around 85% of the total mass of the universe and is essential for explaining the observed gravitational effects on galaxies and galaxy clusters.

2. What are neutrinos?

Neutrinos are subatomic particles that have no electric charge and interact only weakly with other particles, making them difficult to detect. They are created through various natural processes, such as nuclear reactions in the sun and supernovae explosions.

3. How do neutrinos relate to dark matter?

Some theories suggest that neutrinos could potentially account for a portion of dark matter due to their small mass and weak interactions. However, current research and observations suggest that neutrinos make up only a small fraction of the total dark matter in the universe, if any at all.

4. What is the current estimate for the mass of neutrinos?

The current estimate for the mass of neutrinos is very small, ranging from 0.05 to 0.320 electron volts (eV). This is much less than the mass of other particles, such as protons and electrons, and makes it difficult for neutrinos to account for all of the dark matter in the universe.

5. How massive do neutrinos need to be to account for all dark matter?

Based on current research and observations, it is unlikely that neutrinos can account for all of the dark matter in the universe. If they were to account for all of it, they would need to have a mass of at least 3 eV, which is significantly larger than the current estimate. Therefore, it is more likely that dark matter is made up of other yet undiscovered particles or phenomena.

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