In this paper, we introduce a novel class of interacting vacuum models, based on recasting the equation of state originally developed in the context of lattice kinetic theory by Shan & Chen as the coupling between the vacuum and cold dark matter (CDM). This coupling allows the vacuum to evolve and is non-linear around a characteristic energy scale ρ*, changing into a linear coupling with a typical power-law evolution at scales much lower and much higher than ρ*. Focusing on the simplest sub-class of models where the interaction consists only of an energy exchange and the CDM remains geodesic, we first illustrate the various possible models that can arise from the Shan–Chen coupling, with several different behaviours at both early and late times depending on the values of the model parameters selected. We then place the first observational constraints on this Shan–Chen interacting vacuum scenario, performing an MCMC analysis to find those values of the model and cosmological parameters which are favoured by observational data. We focus on models where the non-linearity of the coupling is relevant at late times, choosing for the reference energy scale ρ*, the critical energy density in ΛCDM. We show that the observational data we use are compatible with a wide range of models which result in different cosmologies. However, we also show that ΛCDM is preferred over all of the Shan–Chen interacting vacuum models that we study, and comment on the inability of these models to relax the H0 and σ8 tensions.
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society|
|Early online date||7 Feb 2022|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Apr 2022|
- dark energy
- dark matter