Collaborative Research: Axion Resonant InterAction Detection Experiment (ARIADNE) - a renewal proposal

Project: Research project

Project Details


Overview. Axions are CP-odd scalar particles appearing in many extensions of the Standard Model. The
well motivated Peccei-Quinn (PQ) axion can explain the smallness of the neutron electric dipole moment,
and is also a promising Dark Matter candidate. Axions and axion-like particles also generate macroscopic
P-odd and T-odd spin-dependent interactions which can be sought in sensitive laboratory experiments. The
Axion Resonant InterAction DetectioN Experiment (ARIADNE) is designed to search for axion-mediated
spin-dependent interactions between nuclei at sub-millimeter ranges. The experiment involves a rotating
non-magnetic mass to source the axion �eld, and a dense ensemble of laser-polarized 3He nuclei to detect
the axion �eld by NMR. The signal from an axion �eld can be resonantly enhanced by properly modulating
the axion potential at the nuclear spin precession frequency. The goal of this proposal is to �nalize assembly
of the experimental probe, bring the experiment through its commissioning phase during which possible
systematics will be evaluated, and start the data taking stage, exploring new paramater space for the PQ
axion and axion-like particles.
Intellectual Merit. The method has the potential to improve previous experimental and astrophysical
bounds on axions by several orders of magnitude and probe deep into the theoretically interesting regime
for the PQ axion. The experiment is also sensitive to more exotic axion-like particles. The new method can
ultimately exceed present laboratory constraints on spin-dependent short-range forces by up to 8 orders of
magnitude and can improve on the combined laboratory/astrophysical limits by a factor of 104 in the axion
mass range of ma between 10 �eV and 10 meV, probing deep into the traditional \PQ-axion window". This
proposal is especially relevant because to date there have been no experiments sensitive in the range 100
�eV < ma < 10 meV. In contrast to cosmic axion searches, since the experiment sources the axion �eld
using local matter, this setup is sensitive to the axion even if it does NOT make up most of the
dark matter. Furthermore by sensing the axion's coupling to nuclei, an entirely complimentary coupling is
probed to that sought by Sikivie-type microwave cavity \haloscope" experiments and their proposed lower-
and higher-frequency extensions.
Broader Impacts. While participating in the proposed research, a team of postdocs, graduate students,
and undergraduate researchers will be broadly trained in the techniques of experimental atomic physics, op-
tical pumping, nuclear magnetic resonance, low-temperature physics, micro-fabrication, magnetic shielding,
vacuum systems, and modeling. This will be valuable preparation for work in basic or applied research,
either in the U.S. or international work force or scienti�c community. For example, Stanford postdoc Eli
Levenson-Falk who was partially supported by this project is now an Assistant Professor at USC. An e�ort
will continue to be made to recruit members of under-represented groups as students in the laboratory,
including women and minorities. Four of the �ve students and postdocs mentored by Geraci who work on
ARIADNE are women. Chen-Yu Liu mentored Los Alamos scientist Young-Jin Kim: she heads the research
group of our LANL collaborator Pinghan Chu. M. Snow mentored Rakshya Khatiwada, now an assistant
professor in a joint position with IIT/Fermilab and active on ADMX. Opportunities will exist for student
involvement in an international collaboration, allowing travel between Korea, C
Effective start/end date9/1/218/31/24


  • National Science Foundation (PHY 2111544)


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