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Axion instability supernovae

Sakstein, Jeremy and Croon, Djuna and McDermott, Samuel D. (2022) 'Axion instability supernovae.', Physical Review D, 105 (9).


and strongly coupled. In this work, we investigate the astrophysical consequences of such a scenario for massive stars by incorporating new contributions to the equation of state into a state of the art stellar structure code. We focus on axions in the “cosmological triangle,” a region of parameter space with 300 keV ≲ ma ≲ 2 MeV, gaγγ ∼ 10−5 GeV−1 that is not presently excluded by other considerations. We find that for axion masses ma ∼ me, axion production in the core drives a new stellar instability that results in explosive nuclear burning that either drives a series of mass-shedding pulsations or completely disrupts the star resulting in a new type of optical transient—an Axion Instability Supernova. We predict that the upper black hole mass gap would be located at 37 M⊙ ≤ M ≤ 107 M⊙ in these theories, a large shift down from the standard prediction, which is disfavored by the detection of the mass gap in the LIGO/Virgo/ KAGRA GWTC-2 gravitational wave catalog beginning at 46þ17 −6 M⊙. Furthermore, axion-instability supernovae are more common than pair-instability supernovae, making them excellent candidate targets for James Webb Space Telescope. The methods presented in this work can be used to investigate the astrophysical consequences of any theory of new physics that contains heavy bosonic particles of arbitrary spin. We provide the tools to facilitate such studies

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:Published by the American Physical Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the published article’s title, journal citation, and DOI. Funded by SCOAP3.
Date accepted:12 May 2022
Date deposited:26 July 2022
Date of first online publication:25 May 2022
Date first made open access:26 July 2022

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