Searching for Sterile Neutrinos and Dark Radiation Through Cosmology

Friday, February 12, 2016: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Marriott Balcony A (Marriott Wardman Park)
Olga Mena Requejo, University of Valencia, Paterna, Spain
In this talk, we'll make a short trip along the universe's history, stopping by the most interesting epochs for hunting the elusive sterile neutrino, the theorized fourth type of neutrino. The extra dark radiation component of these particles leaves footprints in the Big Bang Nucleosynthesis era, where the first elements of the periodic table are "cooked"; in the last scattering surface, where the Cosmic Microwave Background photons came from; and in the formation of the large-scale structure of our universe, where the first galaxies were born. Toward the end of this exciting trip, we'll focus on something more obscure, less visible and less shiny: dark matter. Could sterile neutrinos be a component of the mysterious dark matter fluid? The answer is: Yes, they could!