BICEP/Keck XII: Constraints on axionlike polarization oscillations in the cosmic microwave background

Bicep/Keck collaboration

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We present a search for axionlike polarization oscillations in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) with observations from the Keck Array. A local axion field induces an all-sky, temporally sinusoidal rotation of CMB polarization. A CMB polarimeter can thus function as a direct-detection experiment for axionlike dark matter. We develop techniques to extract an oscillation signal. Many elements of the method are generic to CMB polarimetry experiments and can be adapted for other datasets. As a first demonstration, we process data from the 2012 observing season to set upper limits on the axion-photon coupling constant in the mass range 10-21-10-18 eV, which corresponds to oscillation periods on the order of hours to months. We find no statistically significant deviations from the background model. For periods larger than 24 hr (mass m<4.8×10-20 eV), the median 95% confidence upper limit is equivalent to a rotation amplitude of 0.68°, which constrains the axion-photon coupling constant to gφγ<(1.1×10-11 GeV-1)m/(10-21 eV), if axionlike particles constitute all of the dark matter. The constraints can be improved substantially with data already collected by the BICEP series of experiments. Current and future CMB polarimetry experiments are expected to achieve sufficient sensitivity to rule out unexplored regions of the axion parameter space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number042002
JournalPhysical Review D
Volume103
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 12 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Adam J. Anderson, Aviv R. Cukierman, Michael A. Fedderke, and Ethan O. Nadler for useful conversations. The BICEP/Keck projects have been made possible through a series of grants from the National Science Foundation including Grants No. 0742818, No. 0742592, No. 1044978, No. 1110087, No. 1145172, No. 1145143, No.1145248, No.1639040, No.1638957, No.1638978, No.1638970, and No.1836010, and by the Keck Foundation. The development of antenna-coupled detector technology was supported by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Research and Technology Development Fund and Grants No.06-ARPA206-0040 and No.10-SAT10-0017 from the NASA Astrophysics Research and Analysis program (APRA) and Strategic Astrophysics Technology (SAT) programs. The development and testing of focal planes were supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation at Caltech. Readout electronics were supported by a Canada Foundation for Innovation grant to UBC. The computations in this paper were run on the Odyssey cluster supported by the FAS Science Division Research Computing Group at Harvard University. The analysis effort at Stanford and S.L.A.C. was partially supported by the Department of Energy, Contract No.DE-AC02-76SF00515. We thank the staff of the U.S. Antarctic Program and in particular the South Pole Station without whose help this research would not have been possible. Most special thanks go to our heroic winter-overs Robert Schwarz and Steffen Richter. We thank all those who have contributed past efforts to the BICEP/Keck series of experiments, including the BICEP1 team.

Funding Information:
We thank Adam J. Anderson, Aviv R. Cukierman, Michael A. Fedderke, and Ethan O. Nadler for useful conversations. The BICEP/Keck projects have been made possible through a series of grants from the National Science Foundation including Grants No. 0742818, No. 0742592, No. 1044978, No. 1110087, No. 1145172, No. 1145143, No. 1145248, No. 1639040, No. 1638957, No. 1638978, No. 1638970, and No. 1836010, and by the Keck Foundation. The development of antenna-coupled detector technology was supported by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Research and Technology Development Fund and Grants No. 06-ARPA206-0040 and No. 10-SAT10-0017 from the NASA Astrophysics Research and Analysis program (APRA) and Strategic Astrophysics Technology (SAT) programs. The development and testing of focal planes were supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation at Caltech. Readout electronics were supported by a Canada Foundation for Innovation grant to UBC. The computations in this paper were run on the Odyssey cluster supported by the FAS Science Division Research Computing Group at Harvard University. The analysis effort at Stanford and S. L. A. C. was partially supported by the Department of Energy, Contract No. DE-AC02-76SF00515. We thank the staff of the U.S. Antarctic Program and in particular the South Pole Station without whose help this research would not have been possible. Most special thanks go to our heroic winter-overs Robert Schwarz and Steffen Richter. We thank all those who have contributed past efforts to the BICEP/Keck series of experiments, including the BICEP1 team.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Physical Society.

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