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The piezoaxionic effect

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Bipasha Chakraborty.

Axion dark matter (DM) constitutes an oscillating background that violates parity and time-reversal symmtries. Inside piezoelectric crystals, where parity is broken spontaneously, this axion background can result in a stress. We call this new phenomenon “the piezoaxionic effect”. When the frequency of axion DM matches the natural frequency of a bulk acoustic normal mode of the piezoelectric crystal, the piezoaxionic effect is resonantly enhanced and can be read out electrically via the piezoelectric effect. We explore all axion couplings that can give rise to the piezoaxionic effect—the most promising one is the defining coupling of the QCD axion, through the anomaly of the strong sector. We also point our another, subdominant phenomenon present in all dielectrics, namely the “electroaxionic effect”. An axion background can produce an electric displacement field in a crystal which in turn will give rise to a voltage across the crystal. The electroaxionic effect is again largest for the axion coupling to gluons. We find that this model independent coupling of the QCD axion may be probed through the combination of the piezoaxionic and electroaxionic effects in piezoelectric crystals with aligned nuclear spins, with near-future experimental setups applicable for axion masses between 10−11 eV and 10−7 eV, a challenging range for most other detection concepts.

This talk is part of the Theoretical Physics Colloquium series.

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