Constraining photon-axion oscillations using quasar spectra

Astronomy and Astrophysics – Astrophysics

Scientific paper

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14 pages, 8 figures

Scientific paper

10.1088/1475-7516/2003/04/003

Using quasar spectra from the SDSS survey, we constrain the possibility of photon-axion oscillations as a source of dimming of high redshift objects. Such a process has been suggested as an explanation of the apparent faintness of distant Type Ia supernovae. For most combinations of magnetic field strengths and plasma densities along the line of sight, large beam attenuations in broad band filters would also lead to significant differential attenuation, not observed in the quasar sample. However, this conservative study does not exclude the possibility of 0.1 mag dimming of Type Ia supernovae for average plasma densities n_e = 10^(-8) cm^(-3). NIR and MIR spectroscopic studies of high-z sources may be used put further constrains or provide indirect evidence for the existence of a very light axion.

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