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Volume 358 - 36th International Cosmic Ray Conference (ICRC2019) - DM - Dark Matter
ALP-photon Mixing in Pulsar Magnetospheres
A. Archer,* J. Buckley
*corresponding author
Full text: pdf
Pre-published on: 2019 July 22
Published on:
Abstract
Some extensions of the Standard Model suggest the existence of light, pseudo-scalar particles
such as axions or axion-like particles (ALPs). Such particles couple to photons in the presence
of an external magnetic field. As a result of this coupling ALP-photon oscillations will affect
the propagation of very-high-energy gamma rays in strong magnetic field environments, as in the
case of magnetosphere of pulsars. The emission regions of very-high-energy photons from pulsars
are thought to be limited by the opacity of the magnetosphere due to the strong magnetic fields
present. ALP-photon mixing in the inner pulsar magnetosphere allows for ALPs to propagate
unimpeded by pair attenuation leading to an observable modification to the pulsar light-curve. We
simulated the propagation of very-high-energy photons through a pulsar magnetosphere where
ALP-photon mixing is present. For a range of ALP parameters and magnetic field strengths,
ALP-photon mixing is shown to alter the opacity of pulsar magnetospheres to very-high-energy
photons.
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