A new atomic device to search for exotic physical interactions in the submillimeter range

Diagram of a co-magnetometer. The right is a cell containing atoms and the left is a nearby mass. Credit: The team of SHENG Dong and LU Zhengtian

A research group led by Professor Sheng Dong and Professor Lu Zhengtian from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has developed a high-precision xenon co-magnetometer.

They used this atomic device to search for new physics beyond the Standard Model, and the null result of the search implies new upper bounds on monopole-dipole interactions in the submillimeter range.

The book was published in Physical examination letters June 10.

By using a co-magnetometer to measure spin precession signals from two different types of atoms cohabiting in the same cell, researchers can suppress dominant effects due to magnetic fields and probe monopole-dipole interactions between atomic spins and a nearby mass.

In this study, the researchers used xenon-129 and xenon-131 in the cell of a co-magnetometer. The cell also included rubidium atoms, polarized by laser. The rubidium atoms then polarized the xenon atoms by collision. Rubidium atoms have also been used to indicate precessions of xenon isotypes.

However, previous studies have shown that rubidium atoms have systematic effects on the measurement and affect accuracy. To avoid this effect, the researchers developed a procedure to suppress polarization effects rubidium atoms on the precession xenon cores.

Due to these advances in the co-magnetometer, the precise measurements resulted in new upper bounds on the strengths of monopole-dipole interactions over the range 0.11–0.55 cm, corresponding to an axion mass range of 0.36–1.80 meV/c2. In particular, the terminal has been improved over previous work by a factor of 30 at the 0.24 mm interaction range.

Monopole-dipole interactions are assumed to be mediated by axions, hypothetical particles beyond the Standard Model. Axions are possible sources of cold matter. By searching for monopole-dipole interactions with higher sensitivity and lower upper bounds, scientists could one day unlock the mystery of the universe.


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More information:
Y.-K. Feng et al, Searching for monopolar-dipole interactions in the submillimeter range with a Xe129−Xe131−Rb comagnetometer, Physical examination letters (2022). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.128.231803

Quote: New Atomic Device to Search for Exotic Physical Interactions at Submillimeter Range (2022, July 5) Retrieved July 5, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-07-atomic-device-exotic-physical-interactions. html

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