MeV-scale reheating temperature and thermalization of oscillating neutrinos by radiative and hadronic decays of massive particles

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From a theoretical point of view, there is a strong motivation to consider an MeV-scale reheating temperature induced by long-lived massive particles with masses around the weak scale, decaying only through gravitational interaction. In this study, we investigate lower limits on the reheating temperature imposed by big-bang nucleosynthesis assuming both radiative and hadronic decays of such massive particles. For the first time, effects of neutrino self-interactions and oscillations are taken into account in the neutrino thermalization calculations. By requiring consistency between theoretical and observational values of light element abundances, we find that the reheating temperature should conservatively be T RH ≳ 1.8 MeV in the case of the 100% radiative decay, and T RH ≳ 4-5 MeV in the case of the 100% hadronic decays for particle masses in the range of 10 GeV to 100 TeV.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012
JournalJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Volume2019
Issue12
Pages (from-to)012
Number of pages31
ISSN1475-7516
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

    Research areas

  • Big bang nucleosynthesis, cosmological neutrinos, physics of the early universe

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