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The axion is a sort of photon, but with just a tint of mass.

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Since WIMP (weakly interacting massive particle) experiments have come empty-handed, most (6-to-1) of the universe’s mass might paradoxically come in the form of “axion” particles billions of times lighter than the electron.

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The axion can explain why the two fundamental forces that shape atomic nuclei follow different rulebooks.

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The strong nuclear force, that arranges quarks inside the neutron, obeys charge-parity (CP) symmetry.

Since weak nuclear force violates charge-parity (CP) symmetry,

two-quark particles called neutral kaons decay in ways CP symmetry forbids.

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A typical angle-value θ ( theta ) in strong force equations seems to be zero, which makes the neutron’s charges stay in line. But for the many other values, the quarks stray.

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If we treat θ as a field (instead of constant) a particle/ excitation/axion emerges.

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Photons obey both ‘quantum’ field theory and ‘classical’ Maxwell’s equations. If axions do the same, they could add up to the missing dark matter packing the universe more tightly.

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Since axions often decay into two photons, they might be detectable in a strong magnetic field.

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Just like photons, axions are very wavelike, falling on the wavy end of the wave-particle duality-spectrum.

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Axion’s wee mass makes them extremely low-energy waves.

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Axion’s low-energy wavelengths fall somewhere between a building and a football field in length.

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Scientists can already produce a magnetic field that’s about 150,000 times stronger than Earth’s to detect axions by measuring excess power from axion-spawned photons.

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An axion does double duty as both dark matter and a neutron fixer.

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