Wave Dark Matter and Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxies

Thumbnail Image




Parry, Alan Reid


Bray, Hubert L

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Repository Usage Stats



We explore a model of dark matter called wave dark matter (also known as scalar field dark matter and boson stars) which has recently been motivated by a new geometric perspective by Bray. Wave dark matter describes dark matter as a scalar field which satisfies the Einstein-Klein-Gordon equations. These equations rely on a fundamental constant Upsilon (also known as the ``mass term'' of the Klein-Gordon equation). Specifically, in this dissertation, we study spherically symmetric wave dark matter and compare these results with observations of dwarf spheroidal galaxies as a first attempt to compare the implications of the theory of wave dark matter with actual observations of dark matter. This includes finding a first estimate of the fundamental constant Upsilon.

In the introductory Chapter 1, we present some preliminary background material to define and motivate the study of wave dark matter and describe some of the properties of dwarf spheroidal galaxies.

In Chapter 2, we present several different ways of describing a spherically symmetric spacetime and the resulting metrics. We then focus our discussion on an especially useful form of the metric of a spherically symmetric spacetime in polar-areal coordinates and its properties. In particular, we show how the metric component functions chosen are extremely compatible with notions in Newtonian mechanics. We also show the monotonicity of the Hawking mass in these coordinates. Finally, we discuss how these coordinates and the metric can be used to solve the spherically symmetric Einstein-Klein-Gordon equations.

In Chapter 3, we explore spherically symmetric solutions to the Einstein-Klein-Gordon equations, the defining equations of wave dark matter, where the scalar field is of the form f(t,r) = exp(i omega t) F(r) for some constant omega in R and complex-valued function F(r). We show that the corresponding metric is static if and only if F(r) = h(r)exp(i a) for some constant a in R and real-valued function h(r). We describe the behavior of the resulting solutions, which are called spherically symmetric static states of wave dark matter. We also describe how, in the low field limit, the parameters defining these static states are related and show that these relationships imply important properties of the static states.

In Chapter 4, we compare the wave dark matter model to observations to obtain a working value of Upsilon. Specifically, we compare the mass profiles of spherically symmetric static states of wave dark matter to the Burkert mass profiles that have been shown by Salucci et al. to predict well the velocity dispersion profiles of the eight classical dwarf spheroidal galaxies. We show that a reasonable working value for the fundamental constant in the wave dark matter model is Upsilon = 50 yr^(-1). We also show that under precise assumptions the value of Upsilon can be bounded above by 1000 yr^(-1).

In order to study non-static solutions of the spherically symmetric Einstein-Klein-Gordon equations, we need to be able to evolve these equations through time numerically. Chapter 5 is concerned with presenting the numerical scheme we will use to solve the spherically symmetric Einstein-Klein-Gordon equations in our future work. We will discuss how to appropriately implement the boundary conditions into the scheme as well as some artificial dissipation. We will also discuss the accuracy and stability of the scheme. Finally, we will present some examples that show the scheme in action.

In Chapter 6, we summarize our results. Finally, Appendix A contains a derivation of the Einstein-Klein-Gordon equations from its corresponding action.






Parry, Alan Reid (2013). Wave Dark Matter and Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxies. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/7125.


Dukes student scholarship is made available to the public using a Creative Commons Attribution / Non-commercial / No derivative (CC-BY-NC-ND) license.