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Sterile neutrinos in cosmology


Sterile neutrinos are natural extensions to the standard model of particle physics in neutrino mass generation mechanisms. If they are relatively light, less than approximately 10 keV, they can alter cosmology significantly, from the early Universe to the matter and radiation energy density today. Here, we review the cosmological role such light sterile neutrinos can play from the early Universe, including production of keV-scale sterile neutrinos as dark matter candidates, and dynamics of light eV-scale sterile neutrinos during the weakly-coupled active neutrino era. We review proposed signatures of light sterile neutrinos in cosmic microwave background and large scale structure data. We also discuss keV-scale sterile neutrino dark matter decay signatures in X-ray observations, including recent candidate ∼3.5 keV X-ray line detections consistent with the decay of a ∼7 keV sterile neutrino dark matter particle.

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