Axionlike particles (ALPs) rotate the linear polarization of photons through the ALP-photon coupling and convert the cosmic microwave background (CMB) E mode to the B mode. We derive the relation between the ALP dynamics and the rotation angle by assuming that the ALP φ has a quadratic potential, V=m2φ2/2. We compute the current and future sensitivities of CMB observations to the ALP-photon coupling g, which can reach g=4×10-21 GeV-1 for 10-32 eV≲m≲10-28 eV and extensively exceed the other searches for any mass m≲10-25 eV. We find that the fluctuation of the ALP field at the observer, which has been neglected in previous studies, can induce significant isotropic rotation of the CMB polarization. The measurements of isotropic and anisotropic rotation allow us to put bounds on relevant quantities, such as the ALP mass m and the ALP density parameter ωφ. In particular, if LiteBIRD detects anisotropic rotation, we obtain the lower bound on the tensor-to-scalar ratio as r>5×10-9.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)