Dear KUSP 2017 participants,
on behalf of the center for axion and precision physics research (CAPP), I welcome you to an exciting summer school in Korea at the KAIST campus in Daejeon. KUSP, the Korea Undergraduate/graduate/high-school Science Program, is designed to attract young researchers from all over the world, bring them together to tackle interesting physics projects, learn and have fun. For the first two weeks the students will follow physics lectures, but also interesting Korean language and culture lectures and in the afternoon they will have hands-on experience either in the lab or with computer simulations working with CAPP researchers. The next two weeks will include more extensive lab work and the final week the students will be writing or finishing up their reports as well as their posters. The schedule includes visits to interesting places around Korea ranging from state-of- the-art physics labs to cultural centers of Korea. This program is a lot of fun and very interesting, offering a very fulfilling experience. Get immersed in it, get involved, get messy, investigate, learn, have fun and be safe.
CAPP’s mission is to make clear progress in two of the most important physics questions today:
1) What is the nature of dark matter, and 2) Resolve the matter-antimatter asymmetry mystery of our universe. For the dark matter, we plan to launch the definitive experiment in axion dark matter, assuming an axion mass range of 0.001-1meV. Axions are the quanta of the axion field permeating the vacuum (similarly to the Higgs field). The axion field is oscillating in one, albeit unknown, frequency presumably between 200MHz to 200GHz. It can be made to reveal itself by turning on a very strong DC magnetic field and by using a resonant microwave cavity with high quality factor. A very small part of the axion field is converted into microwaves with total expected power below 10-20 Watts, depending on the experimental parameters. If we knew the oscillation frequency, we could have designed a sensitive apparatus to answer whether or not axions are indeed the dark matter of the universe. Since we don’t know the axion oscillation frequency, we need to cover a large frequency range. Hence we need to scan with high rate, making the experiment a lot more demanding. We are developing several state-of-the-art tools to achieve our goals.
On the matter-antimatter question we are designing a very sensitive experiment that can also be able to be answered in a definitive manner. The proton nucleus has a magnet-like quality, which is used extensively in MRI or magnetic resonance imaging. If it also has a battery-like quality along its spin direction (or electric dipole moment - EDM), it will be an indication that nature violates certain symmetries which are required towards resolving this matter-antimatter question. Depending on the degree of the symmetry violations it may well help resolve this issue. The goal on the proton EDM experimental sensitivity is to do better than 10-29e·cm, a substantial improvement over the present neutron EDM limit of 3×10-26e·cm. It is accomplished by using an all-electric storage ring and muon g-2 techniques.
While you are here: study, learn about new concepts, and see whether this is a career you want to consider in your life. And whatever you do: don’t forget to have fun; follow the instructions of your counselors and be safe.
Professor Yannis K. Semertzidis
Director of the Center for Axion and Precision Physics Research (CAPP), IBS
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology