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Title: Photon-axion mixing within the jets of active galactic nuclei and prospects for detection

Very high energy γ-ray observations of distant active galactic nuclei (AGN) generally result in higher fluxes and harder spectra than expected, resulting in some tension with the level of the extragalactic background light (EBL). If hypothetical axions or axion-like particles (ALPs) were to exist, this tension could be relieved since the oscillation of photons to ALPs would mitigate the effects of EBL absorption and lead to softer inferred intrinsic AGN spectra. In this paper we consider the effect of photon-ALP mixing on observed spectra, including the photon-ALP mixing that would occur within AGN jets. We then simulate observations of three AGN with the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), a next generation γ-ray telescope, to determine its prospects for detecting the signatures of photon-ALP mixing on the spectra. We conclude that prospects for CTA detecting these signatures or else setting limits on the ALP parameter space are quite promising. We find that prospects are improved if photon-ALP mixing within the jet is properly considered and that the best target for observations is PKS 2155-304.
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Durham University, Department of Physics, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22375840
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics; Journal Volume: 2014; Journal Issue: 10; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ABSORPTION; AXIONS; DETECTION; GALAXY NUCLEI; OSCILLATIONS; PHOTONS; SPACE; SPECTRA; TELESCOPES