BICEP/ Keck XIV: Improved constraints on axionlike polarization oscillations in the cosmic microwave background

BICEP/ Keck Collaboration

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We present an improved search for axionlike polarization oscillations in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) with observations from the Keck Array. An all-sky, temporally sinusoidal rotation of CMB polarization, equivalent to a time-variable cosmic birefringence, is an observable manifestation of a local axion field and potentially allows a CMB polarimeter to detect axionlike dark matter directly. We describe improvements to the method presented in previous work, and we demonstrate the updated method with an expanded dataset consisting of the 2012-2015 observing seasons. We set limits on the axion-photon coupling constant for mass m in the range 10-23-10-18 eV, which corresponds to oscillation periods on the order of hours to years. Our results are consistent with the background model. For periods between 1 and 30 d (1.6×10-21≤m≤4.8×10-20 eV), the 95%-confidence upper limits on rotation amplitude are approximately constant with a median of 0.27°, which constrains the axion-photon coupling constant to gφγ<(4.5×10-12 GeV-1)m/(10-21 eV), if axionlike particles constitute all of the dark matter. More than half of the collected BICEP dataset has yet to be analyzed, and several current and future CMB polarimetry experiments can apply the methods presented here to achieve comparable or superior constraints. In the coming years, oscillation measurements can achieve the sensitivity to rule out unexplored regions of the axion parameter space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number022006
JournalPhysical Review D
Volume105
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 15 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The BICEP/Keck Array projects have been made possible through a series of grants from the National Science Foundation including Grants No. 0742818, No. 0742592, No. 1044978, No. 1110087, No. 1145172, No. 1145143, No. 1145248, No. 1639040, No. 1638957, No. 1638978, No. 1638970, and No. 1836010 and by the Keck Foundation. The development of antenna-coupled detector technology was supported by the JPL Research and Technology Development Fund and Grants No. 06-ARPA206-0040 and No. 10-SAT10-0017 from the NASA APRA and SAT programs. The development and testing of focal planes were supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation at Caltech. Readout electronics were supported by a Canada Foundation for Innovation grant to UBC. The computations in this paper were run on the Odyssey cluster supported by the FAS Science Division Research Computing Group at Harvard University. The analysis effort at Stanford and S. L. A. C. was partially supported by the Department of Energy, Contract No. DE-AC02-76SF00515. We thank the staff of the U.S. Antarctic Program and in particular the South Pole Station without whose help this research would not have been possible. Most special thanks go to our heroic winter-overs Robert Schwarz and Steffen Richter. We thank all those who have contributed past efforts to the BICEP/Keck Array series of experiments.

Funding Information:
The BICEP/Keck Array projects have been made possible through a series of grants from the National Science Foundation including Grants No. 0742818, No. 0742592, No. 1044978, No. 1110087, No. 1145172, No. 1145143, No. 1145248, No. 1639040, No. 1638957, No. 1638978, No. 1638970, and No. 1836010 and by the Keck Foundation. The development of antenna-coupled detector technology was supported by the JPL Research and Technology Development Fund and Grants No. 06-ARPA206-0040 and No. 10-SAT10-0017 from the NASA APRA and SAT programs. The development and testing of focal planes were supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation at Caltech. Readout electronics were supported by a Canada Foundation for Innovation grant to UBC. The computations in this paper were run on the Odyssey cluster supported by the FAS Science Division Research Computing Group at Harvard University. The analysis effort at Stanford and S. L. A. C. was partially supported by the Department of Energy, Contract No. DE-AC02-76SF00515. We thank the staff of the U.S. Antarctic Program and in particular the South Pole Station without whose help this research would not have been possible. Most special thanks go to our heroic winter-overs Robert Schwarz and Steffen Richter. We thank all those who have contributed past efforts to the BICEP/Keck Array series of experiments.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Physical Society.

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