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Title: Joint Cosmic Microwave Background and Big Bang Nucleosynthesis Constraints on Light Dark Sectors with Dark Radiation
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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Journal Name:
Physical Review Letters
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. null (Ed.)

    Using high-resolution cosmological radiation-hydrodynamic (RHD) simulations (thesan-hr), we explore the impact of alternative dark matter (altDM) models on galaxies during the Epoch of Reionization. The simulations adopt the IllustrisTNG galaxy formation model. We focus on altDM models that exhibit small-scale suppression of the matter power spectrum, namely warm dark matter (WDM), fuzzy dark matter (FDM), and interacting dark matter (IDM) with strong dark acoustic oscillations (sDAO). In altDM scenarios, both the halo mass functions and the ultraviolet luminosity functions at z ≳ 6 are suppressed at the low-mass/faint end, leading to delayed global star formation and reionization histories. However, strong non-linear effects enable altDM models to ‘catch up’ with cold dark matter (CDM) in terms of star formation and reionization. The specific star formation rates are enhanced in halos below the half-power mass in altDM models. This enhancement coincides with increased gas abundance, reduced gas depletion times, more compact galaxy sizes, and steeper metallicity gradients at the outskirts of the galaxies. These changes in galaxy properties can help disentangle altDM signatures from a range of astrophysical uncertainties. Meanwhile, it is the first time that altDM models have been studied in RHD simulations of galaxy formation. We uncover significant systematic uncertainties in reionization assumptions on the faint-end luminosity function. This underscores the necessity of accurately modeling the small-scale morphology of reionization in making predictions for the low-mass galaxy population. Upcoming James Webb Space Telescope imaging surveys of deep lensed fields hold potential for uncovering the faint low-mass galaxy population, which could provide constraints on altDM models.

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