Recent pulsar timing data reported by the NANOGrav collaboration may indicate the existence of a stochastic gravitational wave background around f∼10−8 Hz. We explore a possibility to generate such low-frequency gravitational waves from a dark sector phase transition. Assuming that the dark sector is completely decoupled from the visible sector except via the gravitational interaction, we find that some amount of dark radiation should remain until present. The NANOGrav data implies that the amount of dark radiation is close to the current upper bound, which may help mitigate the so-called Hubble tension. If the existence of dark radiation is not confirmed in the future CMB-S4 experiment, it would imply the existence of new particles feebly interacting with the standard model sector at an energy scale of O(1 - 100) MeV.
|Journal||Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 2021 May 10|