The hypothesis of an 'invisible' axion was made by Misha Shifman and others, approximately thirty years ago. It has turned out to be an unusually fruitful idea, crossing boundaries between particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology. An axion with mass of order 10-5 eV (with large uncertainties) is one of the leading candidates for the dark matter of the universe. It was found recently that dark matter axions thermalize and form a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC). Because they form a BEC, axions differ from ordinary cold dark matter (CDM) in the non-linear regime of structure formation and upon entering the horizon. Axion BEC provides a mechanism for the production of net overall rotation in dark matter halos, and for the alignment of cosmic microwave anisotropy multipoles. Because there is evidence for these phenomena, unexplained with ordinary CDM, an argument can be made that the dark matter is axions.
International Journal of Modern Physics A
- Pub Date:
- dark matter;
- Bose-Einstein condensation;
- High Energy Physics - Phenomenology
- 12 pages, invited talk at the Workshop `Crossing the Boundaries: Gauge Dynamics at Strong Coupling' in honor of Misha Shifman's 60th birthday, March 14-17, 2009, in Minneapolis, MN