I recently got confused (and slightly annoyed by the lack of technical details) when reading a popular article (authored by Jonathan Feng and Mark Trodden) introducing the concept of super WIMPs.

The article characterized super WIMPs (without giving more detailed explanations) as follows:

  • WIMPs could probably decay to so-called super WIMPs, which would only gravitationally interact with visible matter

  • different kinds of super WIMP particles could interact via additional newly postulated weak "dark forces" ( = gauge bosons ?) with each other

  • this kind of dark matter particles can probably interact with dark energy ( how? What is dark energy in these particular scenarios supposed to be? )

  • the authors vaguely stated the super WIMP models are some kind of extensions of supersymmetric models that lead to the "ordinary" WIMPs

From this characterization I really don't get what super WIMPs are supposed to be so my question is:

What are the underlying theoretical ideas behind these phenomenological models? Are they derived in some "top down" approach from high energy theories or is some "bottom up" extension of something like the MSSM for example applied?

And I would appreciate a technically more accurate description of the super WIMP particles and their interactions.

  • $\begingroup$ It would help if you linked to the article or paper. $\endgroup$ – Mitchell Porter Jun 23 '12 at 18:24
  • $\begingroup$ @MitchellPorter Ok, Ive added the link and the names ot the authors, but unfortunately it is in German and behind a paywall. I own only a "hard copy" of the corresponding Spektrum der Wissenschaft Dossier Ive bought ... :-/ $\endgroup$ – Dilaton Jun 23 '12 at 19:59
  • $\begingroup$ They are usually not top down or bottom up, but wild guesses. $\endgroup$ – Ron Maimon Jun 23 '12 at 20:01
  • $\begingroup$ Possibly the (assumed) supersymetric partners of the (assumed) WIMPy content of the dark matter? In all seriousness just offering up a name gives your audience nothing to get much traction from. $\endgroup$ – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Jun 23 '12 at 20:33
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The English-language version is scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=dark-worlds $\endgroup$ – Mitchell Porter Jun 24 '12 at 6:36

I think you're being a bit hard on Scientific American. It is a popular (if slightly geeky) magazine so you wouldn't expect its articles to have all the gory details.

The best way to find info about areas like this is to search arxiv.org. For example googling for "super wimp site:arxiv.org/abs" finds http://arxiv.org/abs/0812.0432 and this looks like a good place to start.

There have been various suggestions for particles that only interact by the gravitational force. One example is the sterile neutrino.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.