3 The Dark Matter Candidates

It was argued in Section 2.2 that there is a clear need for dark matter. In addition, it seems the baryonic density must be very close to the maximum allowed by BBN. This last fact raises another interesting requirement in that the current best estimate places the baryonic density in the visible content of galaxies and cluster gas as [102] Ωv ∼ (2.2 + 0.6 h−1.5) × 10−3 ∼ 0.003. This is well below the range given in Table 1 and implies that there is a lot more baryonic matter yet to be found. This missing baryonic matter is also generally referred to as “dark matter”. In the following sections the possible forms of both the baryonic and non-baryonic dark matter will be reviewed. Table 2, adapted from Carr (1990) [30Jump To The Next Citation Point], summarizes some of the types of objects that have been suggested as dark matter.

Table 2: Possible dark matter candidates (adapted from [30Jump To The Next Citation Point]).
Axions (10− 5 eV ) Snowballs ?
Neutrinos (∼ 10 eV ) Brown dwarfs (≤ 0.08 M ⊙)
WIMPs (1– 103 GeV ) M-dwarfs (0.1 M ⊙)
Monopoles (1016 GeV ) White dwarfs (1 M ⊙)
Planck relics (1019 GeV ) Neutron stars (2 M ⊙)
Primordial black holes (> 1015 g) Stellar black holes (∼ 10 M ⊙)
Quark nuggets (< 1020 g) Very Massive Objects (102 –105 M ⊙)
Shadow matter ? Super Massive Objects
Cosmic strings ? Cold diffuse gas

Figure 3View Image illustrates the scale-lengths on which the various dark matter candidates might be significant. The white areas are the allowed ones. The dark grey areas are strongly disallowed on theoretical grounds, whilst the lighter grey areas are unlikely but not rigorously excluded. In the next two sections a very brief discussion of the main baryonic and non-baryonic candidates is given. Carr (2000) [31Jump To The Next Citation Point] and Turner (1999) [139] have given more detailed reviews.

View Image

Figure 3: Possible scale-lengths where different types of dark matter might be present, based on a similar representation which appeared in [30].
 3.1 Baryonic dark matter
 3.2 Non-baryonic dark matter
 3.3 Dark matter in the Milky Way

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