*Rescheduled – Tuesday, 2:00pm * – Atom Interferometer Tests of Dark Matter

  • May 31, 2022, 2:00 pm US/Central
  • Wilson Hall, The Theory Room (WH3NW)
  • Yikun Wang, Caltech

Direct detection experiments for dark matter are increasingly ruling out large parameter space. However, light dark matter models with particle masses < GeV are still largely unconstrained. In this talk, I will present the examination of a proposal to use atom interferometers to detect a light dark matter subcomponent at sub-GeV masses. Dark matter scattering off one “arm” of an atom interferometer causing decoherence and phase shifts between interfering wavepackets serves as the observation signal. I will discuss a generalized calculation framework to describe such effects, and apply for multiple channels: nuclear recoils, hidden photon scattering, and axion interactions. Several proposed atom interferometer experiments are considered for the detection potential. Importantly, because atom interferometers have no requirement for minimal energy deposition and the atoms are coherent, these experiments will be highly competitive and complementary to other direct detection methods. In particular, atom interferometers are uniquely able to probe a dark matter sub-component with mass < 10 keV. Future atom interferometers could close a gap in the existing constraints on nuclear recoils.