IAXO collaboration formally established
Preparatory activities have been ongoing for a few years now, however, the International Axion Observatory (IAXO) has recently reached an important milestone with the formal constitution of the collaboration in a meeting that took place on 3-4 July 2017 at DESY, Hamburg. An initial set of 17 institutions from around the world have approved a collaboration agreement, setting the rules and basic management bodies of the collaboration.
IAXO is a next generation axion helioscope whose baseline goal is to search for axions from the Sun, with sensitivity largely beyond current limits on this elusive particle. In particular, IAXO will enjoy signal-to-noise ratio 10000 times larger than its predecessor the CERN Axion Solar Telescope (CAST). IAXO will uniquely probe a region of the axion parameter space that is strongly motivated by theory, astrophysics and cosmology.
The near-term goal of the collaboration is to build a scaled-down prototype version of the experiment, called babyIAXO, to probably be located at DESY. It will pave the way to the full experiment and will deliver intermediate relevant physics outcomes.