In the Dynamical Dark-Matter (DDM) framework, the dark sector comprises a large number of constituent dark particles whose individual masses, lifetimes, and cosmological abundances obey specific scaling relations with respect to each other. In particular, the most natural versions of this framework tend to require a spectrum of cosmological abundances which scale inversely with mass, so that dark-sector states with larger masses have smaller abundances. Thus far, DDM model-building has primarily relied on nonthermal mechanisms for abundance generation such as misalignment production, since these mechanisms give rise to abundances that have this property. By contrast, the simplest versions of thermal freeze-out tend to produce abundances that increase, rather than decrease, with the mass of the dark-matter component. In this paper, we demonstrate that there exist relatively simple modifications of the traditional thermal freeze-out mechanism which "flip" the resulting abundance spectrum, producing abundances that scale inversely with mass. Moreover, we demonstrate that a far broader variety of scaling relations between lifetimes, abundances, and masses can emerge through thermal freeze-out than through the nonthermal mechanisms previously considered for DDM ensembles. The results of this paper thus extend the DDM framework into the thermal domain and essentially allow us to "design" our resulting DDM ensembles at will in order to realize a rich array of resulting dark-matter phenomenologies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)