Collisions of dark matter axion stars with astrophysical sources


Joshua Eby, Madelyn Leembruggen, Joseph Leeney, Peter Suranyi, and L. C. R. Wijewardhana. 2017. “Collisions of dark matter axion stars with astrophysical sources.” Journal of High Energy Physics, 2017, 4, Pp. 99. Publisher's Version


If QCD axions form a large fraction of the total mass of dark matter, then axion stars could be very abundant in galaxies. As a result, collisions with each other, and with other astrophysical bodies, can occur. We calculate the rate and analyze the consequences of three classes of collisions, those occurring between a dilute axion star and: another dilute axion star, an ordinary star, or a neutron star. In all cases we attempt to quantify the most important astrophysical uncertainties; we also pay particular attention to scenarios in which collisions lead to collapse of otherwise stable axion stars, and possible subsequent decay through number changing interactions. Collisions between two axion stars can occur with a high total rate, but the low relative velocity required for collapse to occur leads to a very low total rate of collapses. On the other hand, collisions between an axion star and an ordinary star have a large rate, \(\Gamma_{\odot} \) ∼ 3000 collisions/year/galaxy, and for sufficiently heavy axion stars, it is plausible that most or all such collisions lead to collapse. We identify in this case a parameter space which has a stable region and a region in which collision triggers collapse, which depend on the axion number (N ) in the axion star, and a ratio of mass to radius cubed characterizing the ordinary star (\(\frac{M_S}{R_S^3}\)). Finally, we revisit the calculation of collision rates between axion stars and neutron stars, improving on previous estimates by taking cylindrical symmetry of the neutron star distribution into account. Collapse and subsequent decay through collision processes, if occurring with a significant rate, can affect dark matter phenomenology and the axion star mass distribution.
Last updated on 12/05/2019