Our celebration of Dr. Justin Shortino's successful doctoral dissertation defense, with his committee chair Dr. Mike Snow
Dissertation Title: Novel Laboratory Searches for Spin-Dependent T-Odd Interactions Using Polarized Gas Magnetometers
Abstract: The axion is a theorized light spin-0 boson appearing in several physical models including string theory. The QCD axion appears as the result of a standard model extension, first postulated by Peccei and Quinn in 1977. The axion holds potential explanations for the presence of dark matter, the smallness of the neutron electric dipole moment, and the observed baryon asymmetry in the Universe, motivating many experimental searches.
Axion searches are covered by a wide array of techniques due to its coupling to various particles. This work focuses on searches for short-range spin-dependent interactions between nucleons and nuclear spins. Two new techniques have been developed, building upon previous noble gas magnetometry experiments. ANGIS, performed at Physikalisch - Technische Bundesanstalt Institute (PTB) Berlin, uses frequency modulation to search for sidebands in the NMR frequency spectrum produced by the magnetometer. The Berlin Magnetically Shielded Room 2 (BMSR2) offers an extremely low noise magnetically shielded environment, critical for sensitive magnetometry measurements. ARIADNE is an ongoing international effort that uses a resonant effect to tilt the spins in a polarized noble gas magnetometer. ARIADNE will be performed in a cryostat cooled to 4K and takes advantage of superconducting magnetic shielding to mitigate unwanted magnetic interference.