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Title: Dark-matter QCD-axion searches

Abstract

In the late 20th century, cosmology became a precision science. At the beginning of the next century, the parameters describing how our universe evolved from the Big Bang are generally known to a few percent. One key parameter is the total mass density of the universe. Normal matter constitutes only a small fraction of the total mass density. Observations suggest this additional mass, the dark matter, is cold (that is, moving nonrelativistically in the early universe) and interacts feebly if at all with normal matter and radiation. There’s no known such elementary particle, so the strong presumption is the dark matter consists of particle relics of a new kind left over from the Big Bang. One of the most important questions in science is the nature of this dark matter. One attractive particle dark-matter candidate is the axion. The axion is a hypothetical elementary particle arising in a simple and elegant extension to the standard model of particle physics that nulls otherwise observable CP-violating effects (where CP is the product of charge reversal C and parity inversion P) in quantum chromo dynamics (QCD). A light axion of mass 10-(6–3) eV (the invisible axion) would couple extraordinarily weakly to normal mattermore » and radiation and would therefore be extremely difficult to detect in the laboratory. But, such an axion is a compelling dark-matter candidate and is therefore a target of a number of searches. Compared with other particle dark-matter candidates, the plausible range of axion dark-matter couplings and masses is narrowly constrained. This focused search range allows for definitive searches, where a nonobservation would seriously impugn the dark-matter QCD-axion hypothesis. Axion searches use a wide range of technologies, and the experiment sensitivities are now reaching likely dark-matter axion couplings and masses. Our paper is a selective overview of the current generation of sensitive axion searches. Finally, not all techniques and experiments are discussed, but I hope to give a sense of the current experimental landscape of the search for dark-matter axions.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States). Dept. of Physics
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
OSTI Identifier:
1356205
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0007068
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 112; Journal Issue: 40; Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
Publisher:
National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; 72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS; axions; dark matter; strong CP problem

Citation Formats

Rosenberg, Leslie J. Dark-matter QCD-axion searches. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1073/pnas.1308788112.
Rosenberg, Leslie J. Dark-matter QCD-axion searches. United States. doi:10.1073/pnas.1308788112.
Rosenberg, Leslie J. Mon . "Dark-matter QCD-axion searches". United States. doi:10.1073/pnas.1308788112. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1356205.
@article{osti_1356205,
title = {Dark-matter QCD-axion searches},
author = {Rosenberg, Leslie J.},
abstractNote = {In the late 20th century, cosmology became a precision science. At the beginning of the next century, the parameters describing how our universe evolved from the Big Bang are generally known to a few percent. One key parameter is the total mass density of the universe. Normal matter constitutes only a small fraction of the total mass density. Observations suggest this additional mass, the dark matter, is cold (that is, moving nonrelativistically in the early universe) and interacts feebly if at all with normal matter and radiation. There’s no known such elementary particle, so the strong presumption is the dark matter consists of particle relics of a new kind left over from the Big Bang. One of the most important questions in science is the nature of this dark matter. One attractive particle dark-matter candidate is the axion. The axion is a hypothetical elementary particle arising in a simple and elegant extension to the standard model of particle physics that nulls otherwise observable CP-violating effects (where CP is the product of charge reversal C and parity inversion P) in quantum chromo dynamics (QCD). A light axion of mass 10-(6–3) eV (the invisible axion) would couple extraordinarily weakly to normal matter and radiation and would therefore be extremely difficult to detect in the laboratory. But, such an axion is a compelling dark-matter candidate and is therefore a target of a number of searches. Compared with other particle dark-matter candidates, the plausible range of axion dark-matter couplings and masses is narrowly constrained. This focused search range allows for definitive searches, where a nonobservation would seriously impugn the dark-matter QCD-axion hypothesis. Axion searches use a wide range of technologies, and the experiment sensitivities are now reaching likely dark-matter axion couplings and masses. Our paper is a selective overview of the current generation of sensitive axion searches. Finally, not all techniques and experiments are discussed, but I hope to give a sense of the current experimental landscape of the search for dark-matter axions.},
doi = {10.1073/pnas.1308788112},
journal = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
number = 40,
volume = 112,
place = {United States},
year = {2015},
month = {1}
}

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