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The CAST Expriment

 

 

  The CAST Expriment    
       
       
  The CAST (CERN axion solar telescope) experiment searches for a hypothetical elementary particle that has been proposed to solve a longstanding problem in elementary particle physics theory manifesting itself in the apparent smallness of the electric dipole moment of the neutron.   Schematic setup of the CAST experiment. Axions from the sun enter the magnet pipes parallel to its axis and are converted to X-ray photons inside the magnetic field. These are detected at the four magnet openings (Courtesy of CERN).
 
 
       
  In the presence of a magnetic field the axion would be transformed with very low probability into a photon and vice versa. Therefore it is to be expected that axions are produced in the core of the sun and detectable at earth by conversion into photons with the help of a strong magnetic field.  
     
  A 10 meter long magnet equipped with a magnetic field intensity of 9 T and a 14 cm² opening follows the direction of the sun. The major challenges in such an experiment are the small amplitudes of the expected signal and the suppression of background due to other “normal” processes as for example from radioactivity and cosmic radiation.
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Photo of X-ray telescope at the CAST experiment.