Are there experiments which search for WIMPs that also set limits for the axion? I'm doing a literature review on axions, and I've been told I should include a brief overview of WIMP searches as they also set limits for the axion. I can't find any discussion of this in papers on WIMP search experiments, however.

The names of any experiments which perform this dual function would be much appreciated.

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    $\begingroup$ Don't know a lot about axion physics, but most direct WIMP searches are actually recoil searches. If you expect ordinary matter to recoil when interacting with axions then there is some possibility of sensitivity from any direct WIMP search. Only the phase-space may not be optimized and the noise may not be suppressed as well as in the region of expected WIMP masses. $\endgroup$ Aug 22, 2017 at 23:07

1 Answer 1

  • Axions are sometimes taken to be templates for "pseudoscalar particles that interact with the Standard Model."

  • "WIMP" dark matter can be interpreted either strictly---where the "weakly interacting" literally means interacting through the weak force ($W$, $Z$ bosons, perhaps the Higgs)---or more colloquially, where "weakly interacting" means "couplings that are pretty small." The strict interpretation is highly constrained by experiments and is unlikely to have much to do with axions. On the other hand, the colloquial interpretation may be relevant in two ways.

The two ways that the colloquial interpretation may be relevant are:

  1. Dark matter may be axions. Or if not literally axions (which carry some assumptions), they may be axion-like particles (ALP) which are pseudoscalars that are light because they are identified as pseudo-Goldstone bosons.

  2. Dark matter may interact through axion-like particles.

In this respect, you can incorporate into your literature review the searches for these Axion Like Particles, either on their own or as mediators to dark matter.

Some examples/references:


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