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The feasibility of constraining DM interactions with high-redshift observations by JWST

Kurmus, Ali; Bose, Sownak; Lovell, Mark; Cyr-Racine, Francis-Yan; Vogelsberger, Mark; Pfrommer, Christoph; Zavala, Jesús

The feasibility of constraining DM interactions with high-redshift observations by JWST Thumbnail


Ali Kurmus

Mark Lovell

Francis-Yan Cyr-Racine

Mark Vogelsberger

Christoph Pfrommer

Jesús Zavala


Observations of the high redshift universe provide a promising avenue for constraining the nature of the dark matter (DM). This will be even more true with the advent of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). We run cosmological simulations of galaxy formation as part of the Effective Theory of Structure Formation (ETHOS) project to compare high redshift galaxies in cold dark matter (CDM) and alternative DM models which have varying relativistic coupling and self-interaction strengths. The interacting DM scenarios produce a cutoff in the linear power spectrum on small-scales, followed by a series of ‘dark acoustic oscillations’. We find that DM interactions suppress the abundance of galaxies below M⋆∼108M⊙ for the models considered. The cutoff in the power spectrum delays structure formation relative to CDM. Objects in ETHOS that end up at the same final masses as their CDM counterparts are characterized by a more vigorous phase of early star formation. While galaxies with M⋆≲106M⊙ make up more than 60 per cent of star formation in CDM at z ≈ 10, they contribute only about half the star formation density in ETHOS. These differences diminish with decreasing redshift. We find that the effects of DM self-interactions are negligible compared to effects of relativistic coupling (i.e. the effective initial conditions for galaxy formation) in all properties of the galaxy population we examine. Finally, we show that the clustering strength of galaxies at high redshifts depends sensitively on DM physics, although these differences are manifest on scales that may be too small to be measurable by JWST.


Kurmus, A., Bose, S., Lovell, M., Cyr-Racine, F., Vogelsberger, M., Pfrommer, C., & Zavala, J. (2022). The feasibility of constraining DM interactions with high-redshift observations by JWST. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 516(1), 1524-1538.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 29, 2022
Online Publication Date Aug 4, 2022
Publication Date 2022-10
Deposit Date Oct 11, 2022
Publicly Available Date Oct 11, 2022
Journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Print ISSN 0035-8711
Electronic ISSN 1365-2966
Publisher Royal Astronomical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 516
Issue 1
Pages 1524-1538


Published Journal Article (2.3 Mb)

Copyright Statement
This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. ©: 2022 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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