Constraints and consequences of reducing small scale structure via large dark matter-neutrino interactions

  • Bridget Bertoni
  • Seyda Ipek
  • David McKeen
  • Ann E. Nelson
Open Access
Regular Article - Theoretical Physics


Cold dark matter explains a wide range of data on cosmological scales. However, there has been a steady accumulation of evidence for discrepancies between simulations and observations at scales smaller than galaxy clusters. One promising way to affect structure formation on small scales is a relatively strong coupling of dark matter to neutrinos. We construct an experimentally viable, simple, renormalizable model with new interactions between neutrinos and dark matter and provide the first discussion of how these new dark matter-neutrino interactions affect neutrino phenomenology. We show that addressing the small scale structure problems requires asymmetric dark matter with a mass that is tens of MeV. Generating a sufficiently large dark matter-neutrino coupling requires a new heavy neutrino with a mass around 100 MeV. The heavy neutrino is mostly sterile but has a substantial τ neutrino component, while the three nearly massless neutrinos are partly sterile. This model can be tested by future astrophysical, particle physics, and neutrino oscillation data. Promising signatures of this model include alterations to the neutrino energy spectrum and flavor content observed from a future nearby supernova, anomalous matter effects in neutrino oscillations, and a component of the τ neutrino with mass around 100 MeV.


Beyond Standard Model Cosmology of Theories beyond the SM Neutrino Physics 


Open Access

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits any use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bridget Bertoni
    • 1
  • Seyda Ipek
    • 1
  • David McKeen
    • 1
  • Ann E. Nelson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUnited States

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