Searching for dark matter axions to explain the formation of the universe
IBS Center for Axion and Precision Physics Research
Office C303, Creation Hall (3F), KAIST Munji Campus, 193 Munji-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 34051, South Korea
Director Yannis SEMERTZIDIS
Yannis Semertzidis is a Professor of the Physics department of KAIST and the director of the IBS Center for Axion and Precision Physics Research, established in October 2013.
He received his Ph.D. from University of Rochester, NY/USA in 1989 doing a number of precision physics experiments at Brookhaven National Lab related to axions. He subsequently joined the BNL Physics dept. working on muon physics and initiated a new method for measuring hadronic electric dipole moments (EDM) in storage rings. He rose to the ranks of senior scientist with tenure at BNL, he is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and has received a number of awards and distinctions.
The Axion field permeating all space, could hold the secret of dark matter
The IBS Center for Axion and Precision Physics Research (CAPP) is located in Daejeon City at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). Our center aims to launch a state of the art axion dark matter experiment. CAPP will also play a leading role in the proton electric dipole moment experiment and will participate in other axion, DM, EDM, muon g-2 experiments around the world.
The latest measurements indicate that dark matter constitutes about 27% of the energy in the universe. Among the leading dark matter candidates are particles such as axions, and weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs), e.g., the lightest super-symmetric particle. (WIMP searches are the subject of several groups around the world including the IBS Center for Underground Physics in Korea.) Axions were postulated to solve an embarrassing problem in strong interactions: even though the theory of strong interactions predicts a large violation of certain symmetries (P-parity and T-time reversal), the limit on the electric dipole moment (EDM) of the neutron is already too small, some ten orders of magnitude smaller than expected.
A massive axion is excluded by several experiments and astrophysical limits. A prominent Korean theorist prof. Jihn E. Kim suggested that a light-mass axion would also work as well. The light axions have to advantage that they could constitute the dark matter of our universe. It is currently believed that axion masses between 10-3meV and 1meV could be ideal dark matter candidates. Depending on their mass, there could be about 1014axions/cm3, to fill the dark matter density quota of about 0.3GeV/cm3.
CAPP will explore the dark-matter axion. Our first aim is to use a method suggested by Prof. P. Sikivie, to convert the axions into microwave photons inside a large volume, high magnetic field, and a high quality microwave cavity. We are also exploring different geometries that can prove to be advantageous. The axion microwave experiment is going to be launched at the KAIST campus site-using top of the line equipment and technology. The expected conversion rate is very small, of order 10-23W, making it the faintest signal possible in a realistic experiment.
Once the axions are discovered, a new physics field, axion astrophysics, may be launched, opening new horizons in our knowledge of the universe and its dark-matter dynamics.
In addition, the center is going to play a leading role in the storage ring proton EDM experiment to improve the sensitivity by several orders of magnitude down to 10-29ecm, making it the best hadronic EDM experiment in the world. A successful proton EDM experiment could help explain the matter-antimatter asymmetry mystery of our universe.
|Korean/ International||33(Korean), 8(International)|
As of Dec. 2015