Relaxation times for Bose-Einstein condensation in axion miniclusters

Kay Kirkpatrick, Anthony E. Mirasola, Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study the Bose condensation of scalar dark matter in the presence of both gravitational and self-interactions. Axions and other scalar dark matter in gravitationally bound miniclusters or dark matter halos are expected to condense into Bose-Einstein condensates called Bose stars. This process has been shown to occur through attractive self-interactions of the axionlike particles or through the field's self gravitation. We show that in the high-occupancy regime of scalar dark matter, the Boltzmann collision integral does not describe either gravitational or self-interactions, and derive kinetic equations valid for these interactions. We use this formalism to compute relaxation times for the Bose-Einstein condensation, and find that condensation into Bose stars could occur within the lifetime of the Universe. The self-interactions reduce the condensation time only when they are very strong.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103012
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 9 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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