News from Quax: an important tool for axion dark matter searches
An open and ongoing challenge in axion dark matter searches is the development of high quality factor microwave cavities in intense magnetic fields. This week a group of researchers from the Padova INFN Section and the National Laboratories of Legnaro has demonstrated a cryogenic microwave resonator with a quality factor of 10 million in an external magnetic field as high as 6 Tesla. The research activity is in the context of the QUAX (QUaerere AXions) experiment, in which the new cavity will be readout with a quantum-limited parametric amplifier, to search for tiniest signals related to wave-like dark matter around the yet unexplored 10 GHz range.
The dielectric cavity they used, beyond representing a transformational advance for haloscopes – these resonant axion detectors do probe the dark matter halo of our Galaxy – is now being considered also for applications in the accelerator physics field and for sensing.
Fig. Partial assembly of the dielectric cavity with the sapphire cylinders nested in the copper cavity.