The detection of a sterile neutrino could constitute the first observation of a particle that could have been produced before Big-Bang Nucleosynthesis (BBN), and could provide information about the yet untested pre-BBN era. The cosmological evolution in this era could be drastically different than typically assumed, in what constitutes the standard cosmology, as happens in a variety of motivated particle models. In this work we assess the sensitivity to different pre-BBN cosmologies in which entropy is conserved of 0.01 eV to 1 MeV mass sterile neutrinos produced in the early Universe via resonant active-sterile oscillations, which requires a large lepton asymmetry. We identify mass ranges where it is possible to have two populations of the same sterile neutrino, one with a colder and one with a hotter momentum spectra, which is in principle an observable effect. Furthermore, we show the regions in mass and mixing where fully resonant production (i.e. simultaneously coherent and adiabatic) can occur. We find that in all the cosmologies we consider, including the standard one, fully resonantly produced sterile neutrinos in the eV-mass range can evade all cosmological constraints.
Comment: 31 pages, 3 figures