Researchers hunt for one-pole magnets by combining cosmic rays and particle accelerators
Figure 1. Schematic illustration of magnetic compass, regular magnet and hypothetical magnetic monopole. Credit: Kavli IPMU

The existence of long theorized magnetic monopoles from the collision of energetic Cosmic rays bombarding the Earth's atmosphere has been helped by some of the world's most powerful particle accelerators.

Magnets are used in a wide range of applications, from TVs and computers to kids toys. If you break a navigation compass needle it will result in two smaller two-pole magnets. The existence of one-pole magnetic monopoles has been a mystery for decades.

An international team of researchers, including the University of Tokyo's Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU) Fellow Volodymyr Takhistov, studied available data to explore whether magnetic monopoles exist. The researchers focused on an unusual source of monopoles.

The research needed to bring together expertise from several different corners of science.

The exploration of ghostly neutrinos is one of the things that has played a central role in the advancement of science. The discovery of the Super-Kamiokande experiment that neutrinos have mass led to Takaaki Kajita winning the 2015 Nobel Prize in physics.

The team is inspired by the results of Super-Kamiokande. Light monopoles with mass around the electroweak scale are very interesting.

The researchers obtained a beam of light monopoles raining down upon different experiments by carrying out simulations of Cosmic Ray Collisions.

This unique source of monopoles is especially interesting as it is independent of any pre-existing monopoles such as those potentially left over as relics from the early universe.

The researchers re-analyzed data from previous experimental monopole searches to identify limits beyond the reach of conventional collider monopole searches.

Researchers hunt for one-pole magnets by combining cosmic rays and particle accelerators
Figure 2. A schematic illustration of magnetic monopole (M) production from collisions of cosmic rays with the Earth’s atmosphere. Credit: Volodymyr Takhistov

The results and source of monopoles studied by the researchers will serve as a benchmark for interpreting future monopole searches.

Their study was published in Physical Review Letters.

More information: Syuhei Iguro et al, Monopoles from an Atmospheric Fixed Target Experiment, Physical Review Letters (2022). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.128.201101 Journal information: Physical Review Letters Citation: Hunting for one-pole magnets by combining cosmic rays and particle accelerators (2022, May 26) retrieved 26 May 2022 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.