Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : We propose a novel mechanism for the production of dark matter (DM) from a thermal bath based on the idea that DM particles χ can transform heat bath particles ψ: χψ→χχ. For a small initial abundance of χ, this leads to an exponential growth of the DM number density in close analogy to other familiar exponential growth processes in nature. We demonstrate that this mechanism complements freeze-in and freeze-out production in a generic way, opening new parameter space to explain the observed DM abundance, and we discuss observational prospects for such scenarios.