Differential neutrino condensation onto cosmic structure


Astrophysical techniques have pioneered the discovery of neutrino mass properties. Currently, the known neutrino effects on the large-scale structure of the Universe are all global, and neutrino masses are constrained by attempting to disentangle the small neutrino contribution from the sum of all matter using precise theoretical models. We investigate an alternative approach: to detect the difference between the neutrinos and that of dark matter and baryons. Here, by using one of the largest N-body simulations yet, we discover the differential neutrino condensation effect: in regions of the Universe with different neutrino relative abundance (the local ratio of neutrino to cold dark matter density), halo properties are different and neutrino mass can be inferred. In ‘neutrino-rich’ regions, more neutrinos can be captured by massive halos compared with ‘neutrino-poor’ regions. This effect differentially skews the halo mass function and opens up the path to independent measurements of neutrino mass in current or future galaxy surveys.

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Figure 1: TianNu simulation.
Figure 2: Distribution of dark-matter halos as a function of environmental variables δ ˆ c and δ ˆ ν .
Figure 3: Relative variation in halo mass and rank caused by differential neutrino condensation.
Figure 4: Differential modulation in halo rank caused by neutrino condensation.


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H.-R.Y. thanks E. Komatsu for discussions and crucial remarks. The TianNu and TianZero simulations were performed on the Tianhe-2 supercomputer at the National Super Computing Centre in Guangzhou and the analyses were performed on the GPC and BGQ supercomputer at the SciNet HPC Consortium. This work was supported by Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, the Special Program for Applied Research on Super Computation of the NSFC-Guangdong Joint Fund (the second phase), the National Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos 11573006, 11528306, 11135009 and 11633004), and the CAS Frontier Science Key Project No. QYZDJ-SSW-SLH017. H.-R.Y. acknowledges General Financial Grant No. 2015M570884 and Special Financial Grant No. 2016T90009 from the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation. H.R.Y., J.D.E., D.I. and J.H.-D. acknowledge the support of the NSERC. J.H.-D. also acknowledges the support from the European Commission under Marie-Skłodwoska-Curie European Fellowship (EU project 656869). We thank Y.-F. Wang of IHEP for his initial support for our project, and X.-F. Yuan for his support in the Tianhe-2 supercomputing centre.

Author information




H.-R.Y., J.D.E. and U.-L.P. performed the data analysis. D.I., J.H.-D. and T.-J.Z. also contributed to the interpretation of the results. J.H.-D., J.D.E. and U.-L.P. primarily developed the neutrino simulation code and H.-R.Y., S.Y., H.-Y.T. and T.-J.Z. performed the TianNu simulations on the Tianhe-2 supercomputer. J.D.E. contributed the graphics of the animation. H.-M.Z., X.C. and Z.-Z.X. contributed to the scientific discussions. L.Z., Y.D., Y.L. and X.L. contributed to the feasibility of application of the code on the Tianhe-2 supercomputer. T.-J.Z. and U.-L.P. proposed the idea and conceived the plan of the TianNu project.

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Correspondence to Tong-Jie Zhang.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Yu, HR., Emberson, J., Inman, D. et al. Differential neutrino condensation onto cosmic structure. Nat Astron 1, 0143 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41550-017-0143

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