New Directions for Axion Searches via Scattering at Reactor Neutrino Experiments. Academic Article uri icon


  • Searches for pseudoscalar axionlike-particles (ALPs) typically rely on their decay in beam dumps or their conversion into photons in haloscopes and helioscopes. We point out a new experimental direction for ALP probes via their production by the intense gamma ray flux available from megawatt-scale nuclear reactors at neutrino experiments through Primakoff-like or Compton-like channels. Low-threshold detectors in close proximity to the core will have visibility to ALP decays and inverse Primakoff and Compton scattering, providing sensitivity to the ALP-photon and ALP-electron couplings. We find that the sensitivity to these couplings at the ongoing MINER and various other reactor based neutrino experiments, e.g., CONNIE, CONUS, -cleus, etc., exceeds existing limits set by laboratory experiments and, for the ALP-electron coupling, we forecast the world's best laboratory-based constraints over a large portion of the sub-MeV ALP mass range.

published proceedings

  • Phys Rev Lett

altmetric score

  • 1.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Dent, J. B., Dutta, B., Kim, D., Liao, S., Mahapatra, R., Sinha, K., & Thompson, A.

citation count

  • 29

publication date

  • January 2020