Cosmic dust and heavy neutrinos
Abstract (Summary)This Doctoral thesis treats two subjects. The first subject is the impact of early dust on the cosmic microwave background (CMB). The dust that is studied comes from the first generation of stars, which were hot and short-lived, ending their lives as giant supernovae. In the supernova explosions, heavy elements, produced through the fusion in the stars, were ejected into the interstellar medium. These heavy elements condensed to form dust, which can absorb and thus perturb the CMB radiation. The dust contribution to this radiation is calculated and found negligible. However, since the dust is produced within structures (like galaxy clusters), it will have a spatial correlation that could be used to detect it. This correlation is calculated with relevant assumptions. The planned Planck satellite could eventually detect and thus confirm this correlation. The second subject is heavy neutrinos and their impact on the diffuse gamma ray background. Neutrinos heavier than M_Z /2 ~ 45 GeV are not excluded by particle physics data. Stable neutrinos heavier than this might contribute to the cosmic gamma ray background through annihilation in distant galaxies as well as to the dark matter content of the universe. The evolution of the heavy neutrino density in the universe is calculated as a function of its mass, M_N, and then the subsequent gamma ray spectrum from annihilation of distant N-Nbar (from 0 < z < 5). The evolution of the heavy neutrino density in the universe is calculated numerically. In order to obtain the enhancement due to structure formation in the universe, the distribution of N is approximated to be proportional to that of dark matter in the GalICS model. The calculated gamma ray spectrum is compared to the measured EGRET data. A conservative exclusion region for the heavy neutrino mass is 100 to 200 GeV, both from EGRET data and our re-evalutation of the Kamiokande data. The heavy neutrino contribution to dark matter is found to be at most 15%. Finally, heavy neutrinos are considered within the context of a preon model for composite leptons and quarks, where such particles are natural. The consequences of these are discussed, with emphasis on existing data from the particle accelerator LEP at CERN. A numerical method for optimizing variable cuts in particle physics is also included in the thesis.
School:Luleå tekniska universitet
Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation
Date of Publication:01/01/2007