Constraints on axions and axionlike particles from Fermi Large Area Telescope observations of neutron stars
We present constraints on the nature of axions and axionlike particles (ALPs) by analyzing gamma-ray data from neutron stars using the Fermi Large Area Telescope. In addition to axions solving the strong C P problem of particle physics, axions and ALPs are also possible dark matter candidates. We investigate axions and ALPs produced by nucleon-nucleon bremsstrahlung within neutron stars. We derive a phenomenological model for the gamma-ray spectrum arising from subsequent axion decays. By analyzing five years of gamma-ray data (between 60 and 200 MeV) for a sample of four nearby neutron stars, we do not find evidence for an axion or ALP signal; thus we obtain a combined 95% confidence level upper limit on the axion mass of 7.9 ×10-2 eV , which corresponds to a lower limit for the Peccei-Quinn scale fa of 7.6 ×107 GeV . Our constraints are more stringent than previous results probing the same physical process, and are competitive with results probing axions and ALPs by different mechanisms.