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Constraining chameleon field theories using the GammeV afterglow experiments

Abstract

The GammeV experiment has constrained the couplings of chameleon scalar fields to matter and photons. Here we present a detailed calculation of the chameleon afterglow rate underlying these constraints. The dependence of GammeV constraints on various assumptions in the calculation is studied. We discuss GammeV--CHASE, a second-generation GammeV experiment, which will improve upon GammeV in several major ways. Using our calculation of the chameleon afterglow rate, we forecast model-independent constraints achievable by GammeV--CHASE. We then apply these constraints to a variety of chameleon models, including quartic chameleons and chameleon dark energy models. The new experiment will be able to probe a large region of parameter space that is beyond the reach of current tests, such as fifth force searches, constraints on the dimming of distant astrophysical objects, and bounds on the variation of the fine structure constant.Comment: 17 pages, 12 figures, 2 table

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