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Title: Searching for axion stars and Q -balls with a terrestrial magnetometer network

Abstract

Light (pseudo-)scalar fields are promising candidates to be the dark matter in the Universe. Under certain initial conditions in the early Universe and/or with certain types of self-interactions, they can form compact dark-matter objects such as axion stars or Q-balls. Direct encounters with such objects can be searched for by using a global network of atomic magnetometers. It is shown that for a range of masses and radii not ruled out by existing observations, the terrestrial encounter rate with axion stars or Q-balls can be sufficiently high (at least once per year) for a detection. However, it is shown that a global network of atomic magnetometers is sufficiently sensitive to pseudoscalar couplings to atomic spins so that a transit through an axion star or Q-ball could be detected over a broad range of unexplored parameter space.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [6];  [7];  [6];  [8]
  1. California State Univ. - East Bay, Hayward, CA (United States)
  2. Johannes Gutenberg-Univ. Mainz, Mainz (Germany); Helmholtz Institut Mainz, Mainz (Germany); Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States); Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  3. Univ. of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH (United States); Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
  4. Univ. of Victoria, Victoria, BC (Canada); Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Waterloo, ON (Canada)
  5. Jagiellonian Univ., Krakow (Poland)
  6. Univ. of Fribourg, Fribourg (Switzerland)
  7. Johannes Gutenberg-Univ. Mainz, Mainz (Germany); Helmholtz Institut Mainz, Mainz (Germany)
  8. Johannes Gutenberg-Univ. Mainz, Mainz (Germany)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP)
OSTI Identifier:
1413681
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1419820
Report Number(s):
FERMILAB-PUB-17-559-T; arXiv:1710.04323
Journal ID: ISSN 2470-0010; PRVDAQ; 1630435
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-07CH11359; SC0014664
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review D
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 97; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 2470-0010
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; 46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; 72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS

Citation Formats

Jackson Kimball, Derek F., Budker, D., Eby, J., Pospelov, M., Pustelny, S., Scholtes, T., Stadnik, Y. V., Weis, A., and Wickenbrock, A. Searching for axion stars and Q-balls with a terrestrial magnetometer network. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.97.043002.
Jackson Kimball, Derek F., Budker, D., Eby, J., Pospelov, M., Pustelny, S., Scholtes, T., Stadnik, Y. V., Weis, A., & Wickenbrock, A. Searching for axion stars and Q-balls with a terrestrial magnetometer network. United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.97.043002.
Jackson Kimball, Derek F., Budker, D., Eby, J., Pospelov, M., Pustelny, S., Scholtes, T., Stadnik, Y. V., Weis, A., and Wickenbrock, A. Wed . "Searching for axion stars and Q-balls with a terrestrial magnetometer network". United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.97.043002. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1413681.
@article{osti_1413681,
title = {Searching for axion stars and Q-balls with a terrestrial magnetometer network},
author = {Jackson Kimball, Derek F. and Budker, D. and Eby, J. and Pospelov, M. and Pustelny, S. and Scholtes, T. and Stadnik, Y. V. and Weis, A. and Wickenbrock, A.},
abstractNote = {Light (pseudo-)scalar fields are promising candidates to be the dark matter in the Universe. Under certain initial conditions in the early Universe and/or with certain types of self-interactions, they can form compact dark-matter objects such as axion stars or Q-balls. Direct encounters with such objects can be searched for by using a global network of atomic magnetometers. It is shown that for a range of masses and radii not ruled out by existing observations, the terrestrial encounter rate with axion stars or Q-balls can be sufficiently high (at least once per year) for a detection. However, it is shown that a global network of atomic magnetometers is sufficiently sensitive to pseudoscalar couplings to atomic spins so that a transit through an axion star or Q-ball could be detected over a broad range of unexplored parameter space.},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevD.97.043002},
journal = {Physical Review D},
number = 4,
volume = 97,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {2}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 8 works
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Figures / Tables:

FIG. 1 FIG. 1: Estimated parameter space probed by the Advanced GNOME (dotted line, light blue ll) for the linear interaction of neutron spins with an ALP star, assuming that the mean-free-path length for terrestrial encounters with ALP stars is L = 10–3 ly and v = 10–3c. The solid line andmore » green ll represent existing astrophysical constraints on spin-dependent ALP interactions with nucleons. The sensitivity of the existing GNOME is slightly below the level of the astrophysical constraints.« less

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