Dark photon dark matter produced by axion oscillations

Raymond T. Co, Aaron Pierce, Zhengkang Zhang, Yue Zhao

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146 Scopus citations


Despite growing interest and extensive effort to search for ultralight dark matter in the form of a hypothetical dark photon, how it fits into a consistent cosmology is unclear. Several dark photon dark matter production mechanisms proposed previously are known to have limitations, at least in certain mass regimes of experimental interest. In this paper, we explore a novel mechanism, where a coherently oscillating axionlike field can efficiently transfer its energy density to a dark photon field via a tachyonic instability. The residual axion relic is subsequently depleted via couplings to the visible sector, leaving only the dark photon as dark matter. We ensure that the cosmologies of both the axion and dark photon are consistent with existing constraints. We find that the mechanism works for a broad range of dark photon masses, including those of interest for ongoing experiments and proposed detection techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number075002
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank K. Harigaya, V. Narayan, and B. Safdi for useful discussions. The work of R. C. was supported in part by DOE Early Career Grant No. DE-SC0019225. The work of A. P., Z. Z., and Y. Z. was supported in part by the DOE under Grant No. DE-SC0007859. Z. Z. was also supported by the Summer Leinweber Research Award, by NSF Grant No. PHY-1638509, and by DOE Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231. Z. Z. thanks the CERN theory group for hospitality during the completion of this work.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 authors. Published by the American Physical Society.r(s) and the published article's title, journal citation, and DOI. Funded by SCOAP .


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