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Light bosons in the photosphere and the solar abundance problem

AuthorsVincent, Aaron C.; Scott, Pat; Trampedach, Regner
Keywordselementary particles
sun atmosphere
cosmology theory
Issue Date1-Jul-2013
PublisherOxford University Press
CitationMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 432 (4): 3332-3339 (2013)
AbstractSpectroscopy is used to measure the elemental abundances in the outer layers of the Sun, whereas helioseismology probes the interior. It is well known that current spectroscopic determinations of the chemical composition are starkly at odds with the metallicity implied by helioseismology. We investigate whether the discrepancy may be due to conversion of photons to a new light boson in the solar photosphere. We examine the impact of particles with axion-like interactions with the photon on the inferred photospheric abundances, showing that resonant axion-photon conversion is not possible in the region of the solar atmosphere in which line formation occurs. Although non-resonant conversion in the line-forming regions can in principle impact derived abundances, constraints from axion-photon conversion experiments rule out the couplings necessary for these effects to be detectable. We show that this extends to hidden photons and chameleons (which would exhibit similar phenomenological behaviour), ruling out known theories of new light bosons as photospheric solutions to the solar abundance problem.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stt683
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