Andrew Zentner (Ohio State University)
"Inflation, cold dark matter, and the central density problem"


A problem with high central densities in dark halos has arisen in the context of LCDM cosmologies with scale-invariant initial power spectra. Although n=1 is often justified by appealing to the inflation scenario, inflationary models with mild deviations from scale-invariance are not uncommon and models with significant running of the spectral index are plausible. Even mild deviations from scale-invariance can be important because halo collapse times and densities depend on the relative amount of small-scale power. We choose several popular models of inflation and work out the ramifications for galaxy central densities. We compare our predictions to a sample of dark matter-dominated galaxies using a non-parametric measure of the density. While standard n=1, LCDM halos are overdense by a factor of 6, several of our example inflation+CDM models predict halo densities well within the range preferred by observations. We also show how the presence of massive (0.5 eV) neutrinos may help to alleviate the central density problem even with n=1. We conclude that galaxy central densities may not be as problematic for the CDM paradigm as is sometimes assumed: rather than telling us something about the nature of the dark matter, galaxy rotation curves may be telling us something about inflation and/or neutrinos. An important test of this idea will be an eventual consensus on the value of sigma_8, the rms overdensity on the scale 8/h Mpc. Our successful models have values of sigma_8~0.75, which is within the range of recent determinations. Finally, models with n>1 (or sigma_8 > 1) are highly disfavored.

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