Ultra-light dark matter in ultra-faint dwarf galaxies

Erminia Calabrese, David N. Spergel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


Cold Dark Matter (CDM) models struggle to match the observations at galactic scales. The tension can be reduced either by dramatic baryonic feedback effects or by modifying the particle physics of CDM. Here, we consider an ultra-light scalar field DM particle manifesting a wave nature below a DM particle mass-dependent Jeans scale. For DM mass m ~ 10-22 eV, this scenario delays galaxy formation and avoids cusps in the centre of the dark matter haloes. We use new measurements of half-light mass in ultra-faint dwarf galaxies Draco II and Triangulum II to estimate the mass of the DM particle in this model. We find that if the stellar populations are within the core of the density profile then the data are in agreement with a Wave Dark Matter model having a DM particle with m ~ 3.7-5.6 × 10-22 eV. The presence of this extremely light particle will contribute to the formation of a central solitonic core replacing the cusp of a Navarro-Frenk-White profile and bringing predictions closer to observations of cored central density in dwarf galaxies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4397-4402
Number of pages6
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 21 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Cosmology: theory
  • Dark matter
  • Galaxies: dwarf
  • Galaxies: haloes


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