In concordance cosmology, dark matter density perturbations generated by inflation lead to nonlinear, virialized minihalos, into which baryons collapse at redshift z∼20. We survey here novel baryon evolution produced by a modification of the power spectrum from white noise density perturbations at scales below k∼10hMpc-1 (the smallest scales currently measured with the Lyman-α forest). Exotic dark matter dynamics, such as would arise from scalar dark matter with a late phase transition (similar to an axion, but with lower mass), or primordial black hole dark matter, create such an amplification of small scale power. The dark matter produced in such a phase transition collapses into minihalos, with a size given by the dark matter mass within the horizon at the phase transition. If the mass of the initial minihalos is larger than ∼10-3M⊙, the modified power spectrum is found to cause widespread baryon collapse earlier than standard ΛCDM, leading to earlier gas heating. It also results in higher spin temperature of the baryons in the 21 cm line relative to ΛCDM at redshifts z>20 if the mass of the minihalo is larger than 1M⊙. It is estimated that experiments probing 21 cm radiation at high redshift will contribute a significant constraint on dark matter models of this type for initial minihalos larger than ∼10M⊙. These experiments may also detect (or rule out) primordial black holes as the dark matter in the window 30M⊙≲MH≲4×103M⊙ still left open by strong microlensing experiments and other astrophysical constraints. Early experiments reaching to z≈15 will constrain minihalos down to ∼103M⊙.
Physical Review D
- Pub Date:
- September 2007
- Dark matter;
- Particle-theory and field-theory models of the early Universe;
- High Energy Physics - Phenomenology
- 8 pages, 9 figures