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I Ratio of dark matter

  1. Jul 11, 2018 #1
    Has the ratio of normal to dark matter remained the same since the beginning?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 11, 2018 #2

    Orodruin

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    Define what you mean by "the beginning".
     
  4. Jul 11, 2018 #3
    The beginning is usually considered to be the start. How else would you define it?
     
  5. Jul 11, 2018 #4

    mathman

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    Present theory - dark (non-baryonic) matter and baryonic matter are believed to be unchanged since the big bang. Dark energy is another story.
     
  6. Jul 11, 2018 #5
    This would suggest that there are no decay paths between non- and baryonic matter?!
     
  7. Jul 11, 2018 #6

    kimbyd

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    Sort of. Depends upon how far back you go.

    For thermal dark matter models (the most common, but not the only ones by far), the dark matter does interact strongly with normal matter at extremely high temperatures. Once the temperature of our universe dropped below those temperatures, interactions between dark matter and normal matter would have slowed to a standstill, and however much dark matter was around at that time would still be around today.

    Note that dark matter is expected to be comprised of equal numbers of matter and anti-matter, so it will slowly annihilate (producing normal matter particles). But this process has to be quite slow to allow for the dark matter in galaxies to still be there today. Observing these annihilations through their high-energy signatures is expected to be one potential way to determine the properties of dark matter.
     
  8. Jul 11, 2018 #7

    Orodruin

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    You are running in circles. There is no such thing in present theory, you can only go back so far and still be certain. Then there are many different possibilities.

    If you have thermally produced WIMP dark matter then fine (although if it is a Majorana fermion it is probably quite moot to talk about matter/antimatter distinction), but there are many dark matter models where this is not the case and I would say that they are becoming increasingly popular as WIMP searches continue to turn out negative. Just take axion or asymmetric dark matter models as examples.
     
  9. Jul 11, 2018 #8

    berkeman

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    Oh my. Thread prefix changed from "A" (Advanced PhD level) to "I" (Intermediate undergraduate level). Please take care to set your thread prefixes at the level of discussion that you want (and can understand). Thank you.
     
  10. Jul 12, 2018 #9

    mathman

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    This is new to me. Do you have a reference? My understanding is that we know almost nothing about dark matter, except that it is there. I have never heard of a concept of dark anti-matter.
     
  11. Jul 12, 2018 #10

    Orodruin

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    For thermally produced Dirac fermion dark matter this follows directly from the Boltzmann equations in the early Universe (important caveat: if there is a matter-antimatter asymmetry in the dark sector this is not necessarily true). Of course, Dirac fermions intrinsically come with matter and antimatter components.

    For Majorana fermion dark matter the concept of matter vs antimatter makes less sense as the Makorana mass would break dark matter number. However, this would still generally allow dark matter to pair-annihilate. Supersymmetric DM candidates such as neutralinos would be of this type.

    On top of this you have other candidates, such as axion DM etc.
     
  12. Jul 12, 2018 #11

    kimbyd

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    It's hard for me to provide a reference, though maybe Orodruin's post will help with some pointers on looking into it in more depth. I thought I'd explain the thermal case a little bit more.

    At high enough temperatures, all matter behaves like radiation. One aspect of this is that the number of particles is not a fixed number: when the typical kinetic energy of particles is above the mass, then colliding particles can produce more particles of the same mass.

    When normal matter goes non-relativistic, it tends to annihilate rapidly because of the strength of the electromagnetic force: simply put, electrons and positrons attract one another very strongly.

    For dark matter, this doesn't happen. Once dark matter goes non-relativistic, it can only interact very weakly with itself and with the surrounding normal matter. So dark matter doesn't get a chance to annihilate. You just get a bunch of dark matter particles which were banging around in the very early universe and started to stream freely throughout the universe once their temperature got low enough. This process is very, very similar to the CMB, except that it happened far earlier and unlike photons, dark matter particles have mass, allowing it to cluster once it slows down enough.

    In thermal dark matter models, the dark matter has to decouple early enough that you have enough dark matter at low enough temperatures to make sense of observations.
     
  13. Jul 13, 2018 #12

    mathman

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    . This is true of baryonic matter, but we know essentially nothing about dark matter, so why should we assume it holds. Also much of the discussion seems to revolve around various quantum theory equations and we just don't know if they have anything to do with dark matter.
     
  14. Jul 13, 2018 #13

    kimbyd

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    Matter behaves like radiation at sufficiently-high energies simply because it has more kinetic energy than mass energy. Also, there's nothing particularly mysterious about the dark matter particles in thermal dark matter models. They're basically heavy neutrinos (note: not actually heavy neutrinos, but they behave similarly).

    There are, as Orodruin noted, non-thermal dark matter models as well. Axions, for instance, have very small masses but are produced in extremely large quantities at extremely low temperatures during inflation.
     
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