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Journal Article

Cosmologically Safe eV-Scale Sterile Neutrinos and Improved Dark Matter Structure


Kopp,  Joachim
Division Prof. Dr. Manfred Lindner, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Dasgupta, B., & Kopp, J. (2014). Cosmologically Safe eV-Scale Sterile Neutrinos and Improved Dark Matter Structure. Physical Review Letters, 112(03): 031803. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.031803.

Cite as:
We show that sterile neutrinos with masses larger than 1 eV, as motivated by several short-baseline oscillation anomalies, can be consistent with cosmological constraints if they are charged under a hidden sector force mediated by a light boson. In this case, sterile neutrinos experience a large thermal potential that suppresses mixing between active and sterile neutrinos in the early Universe, even if vacuum mixing angles are large. Thus, the abundance of sterile neutrinos in the Universe remains very small, and their impact on Big Bang Nucleosynthesis, on the Cosmic Microwave Background, and on large-scale structure formation is negligible. It is conceivable that the new gauge force also couples to dark matter, possibly ameliorating some of the small-scale structure problems associated with cold dark matter.