EPT Seminar

Mon, Mar 27, 2023 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
PSC 3150


Speaker: Christopher Dessert, NYU

Title: Polarization Signals of Axions at Magnetic White Dwarfs

Abstract: I will discuss a novel search for axions using observations of magnetic white dwarfs (MWDs). Photons produced as thermal radiation at the MWD surface may convert into an axion as they traverse the magnetosphere, but only if they are polarized parallel to the MWD magnetic field. This introduces a linear polarization in MWD optical spectra perpendicular to the field. I detail the analysis of archival linear polarization spectra of a few nearby MWDs to constrain the axion-photon coupling to less than 5 \times 10^{-12} GeV^{-1} at 95% confidence for axion masses less than 300 neV. I briefly discuss the sensitivity of ongoing and future searches using dedicated data at the Lick Observatory.