Were there any traces of "ghost particles" predicted decades ago?

Were there any traces of "ghost particles" predicted decades ago?

Astronomers may have discovered "fingerprints" of axions, "fattoms" particles that have been theoretically present for decades, recalling that these particles are also considered candidates for mysterious dark matter.

A neutron star is formed when the core of a massive star collapses under the influence of gravity at the end of its life and then appears a small object with a diameter of several kilometres, with a density of about a billion tons, almost entirely composed of compressed neutrons.

A group of neutron stars called "Great Seven" is now in question, and astronomers believe that the Great Seven should emit ultraviolet light and low-energy X-rays, but a few years ago it was discovered that they also emit high-energy X-rays, which cannot be explained by our current models.

In a new study, a group of astronomers offer an intrigued explanation for this phenomenon, and they believe that these signals can be generated by... axions.

Unrecoverable particles

Hypothetical particle axions were first proposed in 1977 to solve a cosmological mystery called the problem of a strong CP. The latter seeks to understand, as easily as possible, why neutrons do not interact with electric fields.

A few years ago, axions were also proposed as promising candidates for the role of dark matter, a form of matter of about 26.8 per cent of the universe that neither emits, absorbs, or reflects light.

How, then, can these "ghost" particles be detected? Some researchers believe that axions can interact with electromagnetic fields, such as neutron stars around them. In theory, these particles could be created in large quantities within these stars before going outwards, where the magnetic field converts them into photons. Since axions carry a large amount of energy, their photons can also produce high-energy X-rays around these stars.

At least that's what this new study offers. "," by Raymond Co of Minnesota University and the main author of the study. "

New physics?

While researchers are still asking questions, and while the observed excess X-ray radiation is not related to the presence of axions, the team notes that this work may still raise questions beyond the Standard Model, hinting at a completely new physics.

With this in mind, the team plans to use the NASA Nustar telescope to study this group of stars over a wider range of wave lengths. Magnetized white dwarfs can also target axion radiation. These objects create strong magnetic fields and should not produce high-energy X-rays.

Details of this work are published in .