Dec 14 – 15, 2023
Centre for Particle Theory
Europe/London timezone

Combating gravity gradient noise in atom interferometer searches for ultra-light dark matter

Dec 15, 2023, 11:30 AM
Ph30 (Centre for Particle Theory)


Centre for Particle Theory


John Carlton (King's College London)


Several upcoming experiments propose using new quantum sensing technology, long-baseline atom interferometers (AIs), to search for new fundamental physics including gravitational waves and ultra-light dark matter (ULDM). Previous studies have shown the sensitivity of AIs to scalar ULDM, but there are higher-spin bosonic candidates that these experiments could be sensitive to including vector ULDM (e.g. dark photons) and tensor ULDM (e.g. massive gravitons from bi-metric theory). Different models have varying phenomenology which needs to be accounted for when these experiments come online in the coming years.

However, another important consideration is the noise-limited sensitivity of these terrestrial experiments. One of the biggest noise sources comes in the form of local gravitational fluctuations from seismic, atmospheric and even human/animal-sourced activity. In this talk I will characterise these noise sources and show their impact on experimental searches for different models of ULDM, offering potential mitigation strategies and detection limits.

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Primary author

John Carlton (King's College London)

Presentation materials