RADES detector in the BabyIAXO experiment: detection of cosmic axions

The nature of dark matter is one of the most pressing questions in modern particle physics. The axion particle is an excellent candidate for dark matter. So far, however, axions exist only "on paper," predicted only in theoretical models.

What is particularly attractive about this novel type of particle is the fact that they could be used to kill two birds with one stone. In addition to the dark matter problem, physicists are trying to clarify a completely unrelated issue: Why no CP (charge/parity) violation occurs in the strong interaction. This force behaves with it differently than the weak interaction, with which this phenomenon occurs.

The RADES detector searches for cosmic axions originating from the dark matter halo that surrounds our galaxy like a sphere. Therefore, it is also called a haloscope. The principle: In a strong magnetic field, axions take on the properties of light particles (photons), which can manifest themselves as microwaves in a special experimental setup. However, this signal would be very weak. The RADES haloscope consists of a composite of small resonators that can be used to amplify the microwaves. This could be used to prove the existence of axions.

So far, RADES has been a detector in the CAST experiment at CERN, whose successor IAXO is currently being planned. CAST and IAXO specialize in detecting axions that originate from the Sun. However, these are not necessarily dark matter. With the RADES component, the discovery of cosmic axions is additionally possible. This is also a chance to solve the dark matter puzzle.

Currently, a prototype of IAXO is being planned at DESY in Hamburg, where the magnet and all components are being prepared and tested on a small scale - the project has accordingly been christened BabyIAXO. BabyIAXO consists of a 10-meter-long, ring-shaped magnet with a field strength of 2 Tesla, through which two tubes, each 60-centimeters in diameter, pass. The RADES haloscope will be installed in the cavity of the magnet.

The task of our group in the coming years is to tailor and test the setup of RADES for BabyIAXO. Specifically, we are working on describing possible observations and developing analysis methods, as well as designing and testing the Axion haloscope for BabyIAXO.

RADES consists of 20 researchers at eight institutions, and the babyIAXO experiment consists of 120 researchers at over 100 different institutions.

More information on the group

News releases

11/02/2022

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) welcomes Babette Döbrich, who has begun research at the institute on November 1. She prevailed in the challenging application process of the Lise-Meitner Excellence Program and will immediately head an experimental research group at MPP that focuses on the…

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Group members

E-mail address: e-mail@mpp.mpg.de
Phone number: +49 89 32354-extension
name function e-mail extension office
Cogollos, Cristian Postdoc cogollos 583 029C
Döbrich, Babette, Dr. Senior Scientist dobrich 205 020C

Key publications

Axion Searches with Microwave Filters: the RADES project
Alejandro Álvarez Melcón, Sergio Arguedas Cuendis, Cristian Cogollos, Alejandro Díaz-Morcillo, Babette Döbrich
JCAP 05 (2018) 040
DOI: 10.1088/1475-7516/2018/05/040

First results of the CAST-RADES haloscope search for axions at 34.67 μμeV
CAST Collaboration (A. Álvarez Melcón)
JHEP 21 (2020) 075
DOI: 10.1007/JHEP10(2021)075

Thin Film (High Temperature) Superconducting Radiofrequency Cavities for the Search of Axion Dark Matter
J. Golm, S. Arguedas Cuendis, S. Calatroni, C. Cogollos, B. Döbrich
IEEE Trans.Appl.Supercond. 32 (2022) 4, 1500605
DOI: 10.1109/TASC.2022.3147741

Scalable haloscopes for axion dark matter detection in the 30μμeV range with RADES
A. Álvarez Melcón, S. Arguedas Cuendis, C. Cogollos, A. Díaz-Morcillo, B. Döbrich(
JHEP 07 (2020) 084
DOI: 10.1007/JHEP07(2020)084