A new bound on axion-like particles

M. C. David Marsh, Helen R. Russell, Andrew C. Fabian, Brian R. McNamara, Paul Nulsen, Christopher S. Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Axion-like particles (ALPs) and photons can quantum mechanically interconvert when propagating through magnetic fields, and ALP-photon conversion may induce oscillatory features in the spectra of astrophysical sources. We use deep (370 ks), short frame time Chandra observations of the bright nucleus at the centre of the radio galaxy M87 in the Virgo cluster to search for signatures of light ALPs. The absence of substantial irregularities in the X-ray power-law spectrum leads to a new upper limit on the photon-ALP coupling, g: using a very conservative model of the cluster magnetic field consistent with Faraday rotation measurements from M87 and M84, we find g < 2.6 × 10 12 GeV 1 at 95% confidence level for ALP masses ma ≤ 10 13 eV. Other consistent magnetic field models lead to stronger limits of g 1.1–1.5×10 12 GeV 1. These bounds are all stronger than the limit inferred from the absence of a gamma-ray burst from SN1987A, and rule out a substantial fraction of the parameter space accessible to future experiments such as ALPS-II and IAXO.

LanguageEnglish
Article number036
JournalJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Volume2017
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Dec 2017

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photons
magnetic fields
particle mass
radio galaxies
Faraday effect
irregularities
gamma ray bursts
confidence
astrophysics
signatures
nuclei
x rays

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David Marsh, M. C., Russell, H. R., Fabian, A. C., McNamara, B. R., Nulsen, P., & Reynolds, C. S. (2017). A new bound on axion-like particles. Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, 2017(12), [036]. DOI: 10.1088/1475-7516/2017/12/036
David Marsh, M. C. ; Russell, Helen R. ; Fabian, Andrew C. ; McNamara, Brian R. ; Nulsen, Paul ; Reynolds, Christopher S./ A new bound on axion-like particles. In: Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics. 2017 ; Vol. 2017, No. 12.
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David Marsh, MC, Russell, HR, Fabian, AC, McNamara, BR, Nulsen, P & Reynolds, CS 2017, 'A new bound on axion-like particles' Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, vol 2017, no. 12, 036. DOI: 10.1088/1475-7516/2017/12/036

A new bound on axion-like particles. / David Marsh, M. C.; Russell, Helen R.; Fabian, Andrew C.; McNamara, Brian R.; Nulsen, Paul; Reynolds, Christopher S.

In: Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, Vol. 2017, No. 12, 036, 21.12.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Russell,Helen R.

AU - Fabian,Andrew C.

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David Marsh MC, Russell HR, Fabian AC, McNamara BR, Nulsen P, Reynolds CS. A new bound on axion-like particles. Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics. 2017 Dec 21;2017(12). 036. Available from, DOI: 10.1088/1475-7516/2017/12/036