PoS - Proceedings of Science
Volume 454 - 1st General Meeting and 1st Training School of the COST Action COSMIC WSIPers (COSMICWISPers) - Wg2
Axion Star Explosions and the Reionization History of the Universe
M. Escudero
Full text: Not available
Abstract
Cosmological structure formation simulations of ultralight axion-like dark matter have shown that an axion star forms at the center of every dark matter halo in the Universe. These axion stars would then form in large numbers during the dark ages, $z \lesssim 70$. Axion stars would represent the densest axion environments in the Universe, and as such they can trigger collective processes that cannot otherwise occur for axions in vacuum. In particular, even though the lifetime of individual sub-eV axions decaying into a pair of photons is much larger than the age of the Universe, axion stars can decay into photons on very short time scales due to parametric resonance. In this talk, based on [2302.10206] and [2301.09769], I will discuss the cosmological implications of such decays. We show that massive enough axion stars will decay into a large number of radio photons which will in turn lead to heating and ionization during the dark ages which is strongly constrained by Planck. As a result, we find that couplings $10^{-14}\,{\rm GeV}^{-1} \lesssim g_{a\gamma\gamma} \lesssim 10^{-10}\,{\rm GeV}^{-1}$ are excluded by Planck for $10^{-14}\,{\rm eV}\lesssim m_a\lesssim 10^{-8}\,{\rm eV}$ within our benchmark model of axion star abundance. We also highlight that future measurements of the 21 cm line can have sensitivity to couplings at least one order of magnitude smaller.
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