To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.

News & Events

LUX goes light: The LUX experiment sets new constraints on axion physics


The Large Underground Xenon experiment (LUX) is an experiment devised to probe Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPS) as candidates for dark matter. As such, it has set some of the most sensitive limits for the interaction of such particles with nucleons.  The collaboration has used data taken in 2013 to look for signatures of a very different kind of particle:  axions. Axions are particles that could explain why the strong interactions preserve CP symmetry, while in addition being feasible dark matter candidates. But as opposed to WIMPs, axions are predicted to be very light.


  Through the so-called axioelectric effect, a process analogous to  the well-known photoelectric effect, the axions could interact with the Xenon atoms of the LUX target, producing free electrons that can then be detected in the experiment. The axions that LUX has searched for could either have been generated in the Sun or be part of the dark matter present in our Galaxy. In both scenarios, LUX has bee  able to set the most stringent limits up to date on the coupling between axions and electrons.


 This engaging piece of research shows how the effort to increase the sensibility of direct detection experiments such as LUX has been able to bridge the gap between the traditionally distant fields of  heavy WIMPs and light axions.