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Theory Seminar (High Energy/Cosmology)
Searching for Axion Conversion with the Breakthrough Listen GBT Galactic Center Survey
Date: Friday, April 22nd
Time: 1:00 pm
Place: Chamberlin 5280
Speaker: Joshua Foster, MIT
Abstract: The efficient conversion of axion to radio-band photons in neutron star magnetospheres provides a tantalizing opportunity to search for micro-eV axion dark matter through indirect means with existing and upcoming telescopes. We search for evidence of this conversion process using archival Green Bank Telescope data collected in a survey of the Galactic Center in the C-Band by the Breakthrough Listen project. While Breakthrough Listen aims to find signatures of extraterrestrial life in the radio band, their high-frequency resolution spectral data of the Galactic Center region is ideal for searching for the quasi-monochromatic radio spectral lines of axion conversion. Using state-of-the-art ray-tracing simulations and data-driven models of the neutron star population in the inner pc of the galaxy, we make use of 280 minutes of observations of the inner GC to search for axion DM, finding no evidence for a signal and setting leading constraints on the axion-photon coupling for masses between 15 and 35 micro-eV.
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