The distributions of dark matter and baryons in the Universe are known to be very different: The dark matter resides in extended halos, while a significant fraction of the baryons have radiated away much of their initial energy and fallen deep into the potential wells. This difference in morphology leads to the widely held conclusion that dark matter cannot cool and collapse on any scale. We revisit this assumption and show that a simple model where dark matter is charged under a "dark electromagnetism" can allow dark matter to form gravitationally collapsed objects with characteristic mass scales much smaller than that of a Milky-Way-type galaxy. Though the majority of the dark matter in spiral galaxies would remain in the halo, such a model opens the possibility that galaxies and their associated dark matter play host to a significant number of collapsed substructures. The observational signatures of such structures are not well explored but potentially interesting.
Physical Review Letters
- Pub Date:
- February 2018
- High Energy Physics - Phenomenology;
- Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics
- 6 pages, 1 figure, updated references and updated with changes for published version