Gauge coupling unification and nonequilibrium thermal dark matter

Yann Mambrini, Keith A. Olive, Jérémie Quevillon, Bryan Zaldívar

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We study a new mechanism for the production of dark matter in the Universe which does not rely on thermal equilibrium. Dark matter is populated from the thermal bath subsequent to inflationary reheating via a massive mediator whose mass is above the reheating scale TRH. To this end, we consider models with an extra U(1) gauge symmetry broken at some intermediate scale (Mint≃1010-1012 GeV). We show that not only does the model allow for gauge coupling unification (at a higher scale associated with grand unification) but it can provide a dark matter candidate which is a standard model singlet but charged under the extra U(1). The intermediate scale gauge boson(s) which are predicted in several E6/SO(10) constructions can be a natural mediator between dark matter and the thermal bath. We show that the dark matter abundance, while never having achieved thermal equilibrium, is fixed shortly after the reheating epoch by the relation TRH3/Mint4. As a consequence, we show that the unification of gauge couplings which determines Mint also fixes the reheating temperature, which can be as high as TRH≃ 1011 GeV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number241306
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number24
StatePublished - Jun 14 2013

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