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Axion astronomy with microwave cavity experiments

O'Hare, Ciaran A.J.; Green, Anne M.


Ciaran A.J. O'Hare

Professor of Physics


Terrestrial searches for the conversion of dark matter axions or axion-like particles into photons inside magnetic fields are sensitive to the phase space structure of the local Milky Way halo. We simulate signals in a hypothetical future experiment based on the Axion Dark Matter eXperiment (ADMX) that could be performed once the axion has been detected and a frequency range contain- ing the axion mass has been identified. We develop a statistical analysis to extract astrophysical parameters, such as the halo velocity dispersion and laboratory velocity, from such data and find that with only a few days integration time a level of precision can be reached matching that of astro- nomical observations. For longer experiments lasting up to a year in duration we find that exploiting the modulation of the power spectrum in time allows accurate measurements of the Solar peculiar velocity with an accuracy that would improve upon astronomical observations. We also simulate signals based on results from N-body simulations and find that finer substructure in the form of tidal streams would show up prominently in future data, even if only a subdominant contribution to the local dark matter distribution. In these cases it would be possible to reconstruct all the properties of a dark matter stream using the time and frequency dependence of the signal. Finally we consider the detection prospects for a network of streams from tidally disrupted axion miniclusters. These features appear much more prominently in the resolved spectrum than suggested by calculations based on a scan over a range of resonant frequencies, making the detection of axion minicluster streams more viable than previously thought. These results confirm that haloscope experiments in a post-discovery era are able to perform “axion astronomy”.


O'Hare, C. A., & Green, A. M. (2017). Axion astronomy with microwave cavity experiments. Physical Review D, 95(6), Article 063017.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 9, 2017
Online Publication Date Mar 27, 2017
Publication Date Mar 27, 2017
Deposit Date Apr 7, 2017
Publicly Available Date Apr 7, 2017
Journal Physical Review D
Print ISSN 2470-0010
Electronic ISSN 2470-0029
Publisher American Physical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 95
Issue 6
Article Number 063017
Public URL
Publisher URL


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