Department of Physics & Astronomy
University of New Mexico

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Search for Axions with Atoms

Presented by Pinghan Chu, Los Alamos

A hypothesized particle, axion, has been introduced for decades to explain the extremely small value of the neutron electric dipole moment (EDM) and could be a candidate of dark matter. One of the greatest challenges in fundamental physics is that the Universe is predominantly composed of matter, not antimatter. Various theoretical extensions to the Standard Model (SM) have been proposed to explain this matter-antimatter asymmetry, demanding a violation of charge-parity inversion (CP) or time reversal (T) symmetries. A permanent EDM of fundamental particles is a direct source of T symmetry breaking, providing a new explanation for the matter-antimatter asymmetry. However, null results of the neutron EDM suggest a new dynamic field, the axion, which can remove the contribution for the neutron EDM. Massive axions could be also dark matter. More than 25$%$ of the total mass-energy in the Universe is invisible dark matter, which has been identified by its gravitational effects on visible matter and radiation. While multiple experiments have been conducted, the nature of dark matter is still unknown. In this presentation, I will describe several novel experimental approaches to search for axions using atomic magnetometers. Atomic magnetometers have very high sensitivity on magnetic fields, which can be used for probing the effective field induced by axions. These experimental approaches include the interaction between the polarized particles and unpolarized particles, the oscillating magnetic field induced by the interaction between axions and magnetic fields, and the oscillating EDM induced by the interaction between axions and magnetic dipole moments.

1:00 pm, Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Room 190, Physics & Astronomy
Northeast corner of Lomas and Yale, Albuquerque, New Mexico

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