Dark Matter Candidate Could Generate String-Like Entities in Exotic Materials

Axion Elementary Particle

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An artist’s impression of an axion, a theoretical primary particle, which has actually been conjured up to describe why charge–parity balance is maintained in quantum chromodynamics. They have actually given that been proposed as a prominent prospect for dark matter. Credit: © RAMON ANDRADE 3DCIENCIA/ SCIENCE PICTURE LIBRARY

Calculations demonstrate how theoretical ‘axionic strings’ might produce odd habits if produced in unique products in the laboratory.

A theoretical particle that might fix among the greatest puzzles in cosmology simply got a little less mystical. A RIKEN physicist and 2 coworkers have actually exposed the mathematical foundations that might describe how so-called axions may produce string-like entities that produce an unusual voltage in laboratory products.

Axions were very first proposed in the 1970s by physicists studying the theory of quantum chromodynamics, which explains how some primary particles are held together within the atomic nucleus. The problem was that this theory anticipated some strange residential or commercial properties for recognized particles that are not observed. To repair this, physicists presumed a brand-new particle—later on called the axion, after a brand name of laundry cleaning agent, since it assisted tidy up a mess in the theory.

Physicists quickly recognized axions might clean up a cosmic problem too. More than 80% of the matter in the Universe is believed to be comprised of a mystical undetectable compound, called dark matter. “Axions are a candidate for dark matter, but we have not found them yet,” states Yoshimasa Hidaka, of the RIKEN Interdisciplinary Theoretical and Mathematical Sciences Program. Axions may have the right residential or commercial properties, so physicists have actually been looking for indications they exist in many experiments. In June 2020, the XENON1T experiment at the Gran Sasso Laboratory in Italy reported tips they might have found the axion—however that result has yet to be verified.

But there is another arena where axion residential or commercial properties can be studied. Physicists can prepare unique products—called topological insulators—in the laboratory, which show odd residential or commercial properties, such as performing electrical energy on their surface areas while staying electrical insulators within. Such products show other unusual habits. Sometimes, their electrons group together and relocate such a manner in which the product seems made from ‘quasiparticles’ with uncommon residential or commercial properties. This can produce an unforeseen voltage throughout the product, called the anomalous Hall impact.

The axion is likewise anticipated to emerge in this method, in topological insulators, where it ought to engage with particles of light, or photons, in a various method to routine particles.

Hidaka and his 2 coworkers have actually now taken a look at the theory governing the interaction in between axions and photons. Even though axions are point-like particles, the group determined that within products, light in fact communicates with extended thread-like setups made from axions, called axionic strings. That would cause the anomalous Hall impact, which is observed in experiments.

“We have found the underlying mathematical structure for the phenomenon,” states Hidaka.

Reference: “Higher-form symmetries and 3-group in axion electrodynamics” by Yoshimasa Hidaka, Muneto Nitta and Ryo Yokokura, 4 August 2020, Physics Letters B.
DOI: 10.1016/j.physletb.2020.135672

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