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Irregularity in gamma ray source spectra as a signature of axionlike particles

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      Abstract

      Oscillations from high energy photons into light pseudoscalar particles in an external magnetic field are expected to occur in some extensions of the standard model. It is usually assumed that those axionlike particles (ALPs) could produce a drop in the energy spectra of gamma ray sources and possibly decrease the opacity of the Universe for TeV gamma rays. We show here that these assumptions are in fact based on an average behavior that cannot happen in real observations of single sources. We propose a new method to search for photon-ALP oscillations, taking advantage of the fact that a single observation would deviate from the average expectation. Our method is based on the search for irregularities in the energy spectra of gamma ray sources. We predict features that are unlikely to be produced by known astrophysical processes and a new signature of ALPs that is easily falsifiable.

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      CPConservation in the Presence of Pseudoparticles

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        Mixing of the photon with low-mass particles

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          Evidence for a new light spin-zero boson from cosmological gamma-ray propagation?

          Recent findings by Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes indicate a large transparency of the Universe to gamma rays, which can be hardly explained within the current models of extragalactic background light. We show that the observed transparency is naturally produced by an oscillation mechanism -- which can occur inside intergalactic magnetic fields -- whereby a photon can become a new spin-zero boson with mass m << 10^(-10) eV. Because the latter particle travels unimpeded throughout the Universe, photons can reach the observer even if the distance from the source considerably exceeds their mean free path. We compute the expected flux of gamma rays from blazar 3C279 at different energies. Our predictions can be tested in the near future by the gamma-ray telescopes H.E.S.S., MAGIC, CANGAROO and VERITAS. Moreover, our result provides an important observational test for models of dark energy wherein quintessence is coupled to the photon through an effective dimension-five operator.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            29 May 2012
            2012-09-12
            1205.6428
            10.1103/PhysRevD.86.043005

            http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

            Custom metadata
            Physical Review D 86, 04 (2012)
            6 pages, 3 figures, matches accepted version, improved discussion on magnetic field models in v2
            astro-ph.HE hep-ph

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