Physicists at the University of Stockholm and the Max Planck Institute for Physics have turned plasma into a proposal that could revolutionize the search for elusive dark matter.
Dark matter makes up 85 percent of the matter in the universe. Initially introduced to explain why the strong force that holds protons and neutrons together is the same back and forth in time, the so-called axion will give a natural explanation for dark matter. Instead of discrete particles, the dark matter of the axion would form a pervasive wave flowing through space.
Axion is one of the best explanations for dark matter, but it has only recently been the focus of much experimental effort. Now there is a rush to come up with new ideas for finding the axion in all areas where it can be hidden.
"Finding the axion is a bit like tuning in to the radio: You have to tune your antenna until you select up with the correct frequency. Instead of music, experimentalists will be rewarded to "hear" the dark matter through which Earth travels. Although well-motivated, axioms have been experimentally neglected over the three decades since they were named by co-author Frank Wilchek, "says Dr. Alexander Millar of the University of Stockholm Department of Physics and author of the study.
Key insight into the new the research team said that inside a magnetic field, the axons would generate a small electric field that could be used to drive the oscillations in the plasma. In the plasma, charged electron particles can flow freely as t These oscillations amplify the signal, resulting in better “axion radio.” Unlike traditional resonance cavity experiments, there is almost no limit to how large these plasmas can be, thus providing a larger The difference is somewhat like the difference between a walkie talkie and a broadcast tower. "
" Without cold plasma, axia cannot effectively convert to light. Plasma plays a dual role, creating an environment that allows efficient conversion and providing zonansen plasmon collection of converted energy of dark matter, "says Dr. Matthew Lawson postdoktor in the Department of Physics at Stockholm University, also author of the study.
"This is a whole new way to search for dark matter and will help us find one of the strongest candidates for dark matter in areas that are simply completely unexplored. Building a customizable plasma would allow us to do a lot bigger experiments than traditional techniques, giving much stronger signals at high frequencies, "says Dr. Alexander Millar.
To tune this "radio axion", the authors propose to use something called "wire metamaterial", a system of wires thinner than hair that can be moved depending on the characteristic frequency of the plasma. Inside a large, powerful magnet similar to the one used in hospitals in magnetic resonance imaging, the wire metamaterial becomes a very sensitive radio-axiom radio.
In close collaboration with the researchers, the Berkeley Experiment Group conducts research and development of the concept with the intention of constructing such an experiment in the near future.
"Plasma haloscopes are one of the few ideas for finding axions in this parameter space. The fact that the experimental community has attached itself to this idea so quickly is very exciting and promising to build a full scale experiment," Alexander Millar.
Radio looking for dark matter
Matthew Lawson et al. Adjustable Plasma Haloscopes with Axion, Physical Review Letters (201
Physicists figure out a way to "hear" dark matter (2019, October 9)
retrieved October 9, 2019
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