Dark Matter

A multiferroics platform for axion electrodynamics

  A. Balatsky, S. Bonetti, J. Conrad, S. Griffin, B. Fraser, H. Roising

Dark matter is one of the key elements in the widely accepted Lambda-CDM model of modern cosmology. It has been proposed to explain a variety of observed effects astronomy, such as the rotational velocity curves of galaxies, and is expected to make up about 27% of the matter density of the universe. However, so far the only evidence for its existence is through gravitational attraction, and it has never been directly detected.

The theoretical axion particle is a prominent candidate to be a component of dark matter. It was originally proposed to solve the still outstanding strong CP problem in Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD). Additionally, unified frameworks of physics such as string theory generically produce models containing such particles. They interact with matter through their coupling to electromagnetism, and should leave distinct signatures in materials with the correct properties.

Our work is to find, or design, novel materials which are tailored to the axion’s predicted properties. These can then be used to build the next generation of dark matter detectors.

Our research is linked to a grant at Stockholm University. For more information, see http://axiondm.fysik.su.se/