CMB and 21-cm Signals for Dark Matter with a Long-Lived Excited State

Finkbeiner, Douglas P.
Padmanabhan, Nikhil
Weiner, Neal
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Motivated by the eXciting Dark Matter (XDM) model of Finkbeiner & Weiner, hypothesized to explain the 511 keV signal in the center of the Milky Way, we consider the CMB and 21-cm signatures of models of dark matter with collisional long-lived excited states. We compute the relic excitation fraction from the early universe for a variety of assumptions about the collisional de-excitation cross-section and thermal decoupling. The relic excitation fraction can be as high as 1% for natural regions of parameter space, but could be orders of magnitude smaller. Since the lifetime of the excited state is naturally greater than 10^13s, we discuss the signatures of such relic excitation on cosmic microwave background (CMB) and high-z 21-cm observations. Such models have potentially richer astrophysical signals than the traditional WIMP annihilations and decays, and may have observable consequences for future generations of experiments.
Comment: 11 pages, 11 figures, slightly revised, Phys. Rev. D in press