Section: New Results
Models of dark matter halos based on statistical mechanics: I. The classical King model
In  , we consider the possibility that dark matter halos are described by the Fermi-Dirac distribution at finite temperature. This is the case if dark matter is a self-gravitating quantum gas made of massive neutrinos at statistical equilibrium. This is also the case if dark matter can be treated as a self-gravitating collisionless gas experiencing Lynden-Bell's type of violent relaxation. In order to avoid the infinite mass problem and carry out a rigorous stability analysis, we consider the fermionic King model. In this paper, we study the non-degenerate limit leading to the classical King model. This model was initially introduced to describe globular clusters. We propose to apply it also to large dark matter halos where quantum effects are negligible. We determine the caloric curve and study the thermodynamical stability of the different configurations. Equilibrium states exist only above a critical energy in the microcanonical ensemble and only above a critical temperature in the canonical ensemble.