Axions and axion-like particles yet to be discovered may be the key to explaining some of the deepest puzzles in our universe, such as dark matter and the violation of charge parity in strong interactions. Several recent theories have predicted that the axion masses are likely to lie within the well-motivated “axion window” (0.01 meV – 1 meV). However, existing laboratory research and astrophysical observation primarily look for axions outside the axion window.
The research group led by Prof. Peng Xinhua of the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in collaboration with Prof. Dmitry Budker of the Helmholtz Institution of Mainz, used an amplifier based on the newly developed spin to limit hypothetical axions within the axion window, providing a way to explore the promising parameter space. The study was published in Physical Review Letters.
The exchange of axions between fermions results in an exotic dipole-dipole interaction that can be detectable by laboratory experiments. In this work, the researchers used a large collection of polarized rubidium-87 electrons and polarized xeon-129 nuclear spins as two types of fermions. Due to the exchange of axions, rubidium could generate the exotic signal on the nuclear spins of the xeon, so the polarized nuclear spins of the xeon-129 are used to resonantly search for the signal.
In particular, the researchers showed that the long-lived xeon-129 spins act as a quantum preamplifier, which can boost the exotic signal by a factor of more than 40. Using such a technique, they provided the most severe constraints on the neutron-electron axion-mediated coupling for the 0.03 meV to 1 meV axion mass within the axion window.
This work provides a sensitive quantum technique for performing indirect axion searches with a newly developed spin-based amplifier, which represents a substantial improvement in sensitivity in a theoretically interesting mass region for axions. The spin-based amplifier scheme, as a new implementation, extends the capabilities of spin measurements and can be further applied to resonantly search for hypothetical particles beyond the standard model, such as the new dark spin-1 photons.
The new spin amplifier accelerates the search for dark matter
Yuanhong Wang et al, Limits of axions and axion-like particles within the axion window using a spin-based amplifier, Physical Review Letters (2022). DOI: 10.1103 / PhysRevLett.129.051801
Provided by the Chinese Academy of Sciences
Citation: Using quantum technology to constrain new particles (2022, July 29) retrieved July 29, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-07-quantum-technology-constrain-particles.html
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