Axion Searches

Axion Searches

Axion Searches

The Axion is a long standing candidate for both the Dark Matter in the Universe, as well as a solution to the Strong CP problem in the Standard Model of Particle Physics. Unfortunately, the most sensitive modern approaches to axion detection rely on finely-tuned resonant cavities to enhance the extremely weak axion-induced electromagnetic signals. The obstacles to creating a truly broadband experimental approach are many, however, our group is currently involved in early efforts to do exactly that.

Approach

  • The BREAD Collaboration (led by Andrew Sonnenschein at Fermilab) has been formed to pursue a novel concept for axion detection.
  • We have proposed a conceptual design for the Broadband Reflector Experiment for Axion Detection (BREAD) to directly search for bosonic dark matter in the mass range 1-100 meV.
  • This multidecade mass sensitivity above conventional resonant cavity haloscopes is achieved using a cryogenically-cooled cylindrical metallic barrel, which converts dark matter into photons.
  • The signal is focused using a novel parabolic reflector onto low-noise superconducting photosensors sensitive to single photons in the corresponding frequency range 0.3-30 THz.
  • A pilot 1 square meter barrel setup can probe unconstrained dark photon couplings, while QCD axion sensitivity requires a 10 T magnet surrounding a 10 square meter barrel.