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Looking for Dark Matter with Atomic Clocks and Gravitational Wave Detectors

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016 - 4:00pm

Seminar Location: 

  • Duane Physics Room G1B20

Speaker Name(s): 

Asimina Arvanitaki

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

Perimeter Institute
Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • Physics Department Colloquium

Event Details & Abstract: 

 When we think about Particle physics the first thing that comes to mind is colliders and high energies. In this talk, I will describe how low energy experiments can probe new phenomena, new particles and new forces of nature. I will demonstrate this through two seemingly different experiments that test the same aspects of Dark Matter.  In String Theory, fundamental constants, such as the electron mass or charge, are determined by fields known as moduli. When these fields are the Dark Matter of our Universe, they will cause the fundamental constants to oscillate locally with a frequency set by the Dark Matter mass. For frequencies smaller than 1 Hz atomic clocks can easily pick up these oscillations with their immense sensitivity. For higher frequencies above 1 kHz, Dark Matter can excite acoustic modes in resonant mass detectors originally designed to detect gravitational radiation from astrophysical sources. Both techniques can extend searches for this type of Dark Matter by several order of magnitude in the near future.