Experimental Targets for Photon Couplings of the QCD Axion [CL]


The QCD axion’s coupling to photons is often assumed to lie in a narrow band as a function of the axion mass. We demonstrate that several simple mechanisms, in addition to the photophilic clockwork axion already in the literature, can significantly extend the allowed range of couplings. Some mechanisms we present generalize the KNP alignment scenario, widely studied as a model of inflation, to the phenomenology of a QCD axion. In particular we present new KSVZ-like realizations of two-axion KNP alignment and of the clockwork mechanism. Our “confinement tower” realization of clockwork may prove useful in a variety of model-building contexts. We also show that kinetic mixing of the QCD axion with a lighter axion-like particle can dramatically alter the QCD axion’s coupling to photons, differing from the other models we present by allowing non-quantized couplings. The simple models that we present fully cover the range of axion-photon couplings that could be probed by experiments. They motivate growing axion detection efforts over a wide space of masses and couplings.

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P. Agrawal, J. Fan, M. Reece, et. al.
Wed, 11 Oct 17

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