CCAPP Seminar: "³Cosmic Axion Detection with an Amplifying B-field Ring Apparatus²" Ben Safdi (MIT)

December 5, 2016
Tuesday, December 6, 2016 - 11:30am to 12:30pm
McPherson 4054
Oval

Dark matter may be composed of ultralight axions that interact very weakly with ordinary matter. When axion dark matter encounters a static magnetic field, it sources a small effective electric current that follows the magnetic field lines and oscillates at the axion Compton frequency.  I will describe a new idea for a laboratory experiment to detect this axion effective current.  In the presence of axion dark matter, a toroidal magnet will act like an oscillating current ring, whose induced magnetic flux can be measured by an external pickup loop inductively coupled to a SQUID magnetometer.  I will demonstrate that a meter-scale toroid could potentially probe the QCD axion with a GUT-scale decay constant, and I will describe ongoing efforts at MIT to build a small-scale prototype, with a toroid of O(10 cm).

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