Dimensionless constants, cosmology, and other dark matters

Max Tegmark, Anthony Aguirre, Martin J. Rees, Frank Wilczek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

308 Scopus citations


We identify 31 dimensionless physical constants required by particle physics and cosmology, and emphasize that both microphysical constraints and selection effects might help elucidate their origin. Axion cosmology provides an instructive example, in which these two kinds of arguments must both be taken into account, and work well together. If a Peccei-Quinn phase transition occurred before or during inflation, then the axion dark matter density will vary from place to place with a probability distribution. By calculating the net dark matter halo formation rate as a function of all four relevant cosmological parameters and assessing other constraints, we find that this probability distribution, computed at stable solar systems, is arguably peaked near the observed dark matter density. If cosmologically relevant weakly interacting massive particle (WIMP) dark matter is discovered, then one naturally expects comparable densities of WIMPs and axions, making it important to follow up with precision measurements to determine whether WIMPs account for all of the dark matter or merely part of it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number023505
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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