The department conducts axion-like particle searches and studies of fundamental interactions such as vacuum magnetic birefringence.
Our department is a member of the Any-Light Particle Search (ALPS) collaboration at DESY. The current ALPS II experiment is looking for a new, light-weight, set of particles called axion-like-particles. These could explain dark matter and other phenomena outside the standard model of particle physics.
The start of a first ALPS II science run is expected in late 2022 or early 2023. Design sensitivity is expected to be reached in 2023 and scientific results soon after that. ALPS II results should highly improve upper limits on the coupling of axion-like particles to two photons.
The ALPS infrastructure at DESY is also ideal for a future vacuum magnetic birefringence (VMB) experiment. Following the ALPS II science run, such an experiment could begin using the existing research infrastructure. A design to measure VMB is under development at DESY and the University of Florida. The department will support this development by installing and commissioning the experiment at DESY.