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Weighing the Solar Axion

  • Dafni, Theopisti
  • O'Hare, Ciaran A. J.
  • Lakić, Biljana
  • Galán, Javier
  • Iguaz, Francisco J.
  • Irastorza, Igor G.
  • Jakovčic, Krešimir
  • Luzón, Gloria
  • Redondo, Javier
  • Ruiz Chóliz, Elisa
Publication Date
Dec 12, 2018
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Axion helioscopes search for solar axions and axion-like particles via inverse Primakoff conversion in strong laboratory magnets pointed at the Sun. While helioscopes can always measure the axion coupling to photons, the conversion signal is independent of the mass for axions lighter than around 0.02 eV. Masses above this value on the other hand have suppressed signals due to axion-photon oscillations which destroy the coherence of the conversion along the magnet. However, the spectral oscillations present in the axion conversion signal between these two regimes are highly dependent on the axion mass. We show that these oscillations are observable given realistic energy resolutions and can be used to determine the axion mass to within percent level accuracies. Using projections for the upcoming helioscope IAXO, we demonstrate that $>3\sigma$ sensitivity to a non-zero axion mass is possible between $3 \times 10^{-3}$ and $10^{-1}$ eV for both the Primakoff and axion-electron solar fluxes.

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