ferrara interne
National Institute for Nuclear Physics

Ferrara Division

VMB@CERN

VMB@CERN (Vacuum Magnetic Birefringence at CERN) is an optical polarimeter that aims to directly measure, for the first time, the low-energy light-light interaction due to quantum fluctuations in the vacuum (foreseen by QED) or due to candidates of dark matter that couple to two photons such as axion. In our configuration an intense magnetic field makes the vacuum birefringent and the polarization state of a laser beam is modified. The birefringence predicted by QED is Δn = 4 10-24 for B = 1 T. VMB@CERN is the successor of PVLAS, an experiment that operated in Ferrara and currently holds the best limit on this intriguing effect. During the period 2020-2021 a feasibility demonstrator will be built at the Department of Physics and INFN in Ferrara which, if successful, will be taken to CERN to use an LHC spare magnet. This second phase should take place from 2022-2025.

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