Hypothetical low-mass particles, such as axions, provide a compelling explanation for the dark matter in the universe. Suchparticles are expected to emerge abundantly from the hot interior of stars. To test this prediction, the CERN Axion SolarTelescope (CAST) uses a 9 T refurbished Large Hadron Collider test magnet directed towards the Sun. In the strong magneticfield, solar axions can be converted to X-ray photons which can be recorded by X-ray detectors. In the 2013–2015 run, thanksto low-background detectors and a new X-ray telescope, the signal-to-noise ratio was increased by about a factor of three.Here, we report the best limit on the axion–photon coupling strength (0.66x10-10 GeV-1 at 95% confidence level) set byCAST, which now reaches similar levels to the most restrictive astrophysical bounds.
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.