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Day, Francesca; Krippendorf, Sven (2018): Searching for Axion-Like Particles with X-ray Polarimeters. In: Galaxies, Vol. 6, No. 2, 45


X-ray telescopes are an exceptional tool for searching for new fundamental physics. In particular, X-ray observations have already placed world-leading bounds on the interaction between photons and axion-like particles (ALPs). ALPs are hypothetical new ultra-light particles motivated by string theory models. They can also act as dark matter and dark energy, and provide a solution to the strong CP problem. In a background magnetic field, ALPs and photons may interconvert. This leads to energy dependent modulations in both the flux and polarisation of the spectra of point sources shining through large magnetic fields. The next generation of polarising X-ray telescopes will offer new detection possibilities for ALPs. Here we present techniques and projected bounds for searching for ALPs with X-ray polarimetry. We demonstrate that upcoming X-ray polarimetry missions have the potential to place world-leading bounds on ALPs.