New ideas in low-energy tests of fundamental physics
Atomic magnetometers have a long history in tests of Standard Model since they provide sensitive constraints on new spin interactions. I will review recent progress in magnetometry using electron and nuclear spins, describe some of the limits set on new physics and discuss ideas for future experiments.
In the low energy re¬gime, precision measurements of spin precession have gained increased attention as an alternative pathway to physics beyond the standard model. These measurements aim at the detection of minute frequency changes superimposed on low Larmor frequencies at extremely weak magnetic fields. Such measurements require an effective shielding against the magnetic field of the Earth and other perturbations.
In our talk we seek to present a broad overview of the field of optical magnetometers, starting from basic principles to fundamental limitations to the variety of applications in which they have already found use. We will end with a report on the development of a new worldwide network of synchronized magnetometers that can be used to search for a variety of new physical phenomena (many of which are discussed at this conference!).
We consider pseudo-scalar and pseudo-vector interaction of atomic electrons with hypothetical dark matter particles (e.g., axions). These interactions lead to oscillating atomic parity non-conserving (PNC) amplitudes and/or oscillating electric dipole moments (EDM). In static
limit for PNC, existing atomic PNC experiments can be used to constrain time component of the pseudo-vector field.
We discuss new observable effects of axionic dark matter in atoms, molecules and nuclei. We show that the interaction of an axion field, or in general a pseudoscalar field, with the axial-vector current generated by an electron through a derivative-type coupling can give rise to a time-dependent mixing of opposite-parity states in atomic and molecular systems. Likewise, the analogous interaction of an axion field with the axial-vector current generated by a nucleon can give rise to time-dependent mixing of opposite-parity states in nuclear systems.
More often than not, astrophysical probes are superior to direct laboratory tests when considering light, very weekly interacting particles and it takes clever strategies and/or ultra-pure experimental setups for direct tests to be competitive. In this talk, I will review the astrophysical side of the story with a particular focus on dark photons and axion-like particles. I will also present some recent results on the emission process of dark photons with mass below 10 keV from the interior of stars.