Detecting Ultra-light Dark Matter with Precision Metrology

Monday, October 6, 2014 - 4:15pm
Room #1 LeConte Hall
Surjeet Rajendran
University of California, Berkeley
Public Lecture: 

Ultra-light bosonic fields such as axions and massive vector bosons are natural dark matter candidates. These candidates are difficult to detect in conventional dark matter scattering experiments since they deposit small amounts of energy and have highly suppressed interaction cross-sections. However, they have a large number density and can be better described as classical fields. This classical field oscillates at a frequency equal to the mass of the dark matter, which in many cases is at frequencies ~ Hz - GHz that are accessible in the laboratory. These oscillations induce a variety of time dependent phenomena such as nucleon dipole moments that lead to spin precession. This spin precession can be observed through precision magnetometry. In other cases, the dark matter leads to time varying accelerations on nucleons and electrons, which can be observed through precision resonators and accelerometers.