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Phys Rev Lett. 2008 Sep 26;101(13):131801. Epub 2008 Sep 26.

Signatures of a hidden cosmic microwave background.

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Institute for Particle Physics and Phenomenology, Durham University, Durham DH1 3LE, United Kingdom.


If there is a light Abelian gauge boson gamma' in the hidden sector its kinetic mixing with the photon can produce a hidden cosmic microwave background (HCMB). For meV masses, resonant oscillations gamma<-->gamma' happen after big bang nucleosynthesis (BBN) but before CMB decoupling, increasing the effective number of neutrinos Nnu(eff) and the baryon to photon ratio, and distorting the CMB blackbody spectrum. The agreement between BBN and CMB data provides new constraints. However, including Lyman-alpha data, Nnu(eff) > 3 is preferred. It is tempting to attribute this effect to the HCMB. The interesting parameter range will be tested in upcoming laboratory experiments.

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