Searching For Higher Mass Axions Using a Seven-rod Microwave Cavity

Nicholas Rapidis Scholar in Action photo

Nicholas Rapidis : Physics major

Mentor: Karl van Bibber, Nuclear Engineering

While the Standard Model of Particle Physics has been a nearly perfect model for explaining particle interactions, it has two major flaws: its inability to fix the Strong CP Problem and its failure to explain the existence of Dark Matter. To address these issues simultaneously, a new particle, the axion, has been theorized and experimental efforts to detect it are currently under way. Nicholas will devise an experimental setup that will search for axions at higher masses than those accessed by previous experiments. These particular masses have been of interest since several theoretical results have advocated for axions in this mass range. A discovery of the axion would profoundly change the field of fundamental physics, providing scientists with new methods to search for physics beyond the Standard Model.