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Direct limits for scalar field dark matter from a gravitational-wave detector

Vermeulen, Sander M., Relton, Philip, Grote, Hartmut ORCID:, Raymond, Vivien ORCID:, Affeldt, Christoph, Bergamin, Fabio, Bisht, Aparna, Brinkmann, Marc, Danzmann, Karsten, Doravari, Suresh, Kringel, Volker, Lough, James, Lück, Harald, Mehmet, Moritz, Mukund, Nikhil, Nadji, Séverin, Schreiber, Emil, Sorazu, Borja, Strain, Kenneth A., Vahlbruch, Henning, Weinert, Michael, Willke, Benno and Wittel, Holger 2021. Direct limits for scalar field dark matter from a gravitational-wave detector. Nature 600 (7889) , pp. 424-428. 10.1038/s41586-021-04031-y

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The nature of dark matter remains unknown to date, although several candidate particles are being considered in a dynamically changing research landscape1. Scalar field dark matter is a prominent option that is being explored with precision instruments, such as atomic clocks and optical cavities2,3,4,5,6,7,8. Here we describe a direct search for scalar field dark matter using a gravitational-wave detector, which operates beyond the quantum shot-noise limit. We set new upper limits on the coupling constants of scalar field dark matter as a function of its mass, by excluding the presence of signals that would be produced through the direct coupling of this dark matter to the beam splitter of the GEO600 interferometer. These constraints improve on bounds from previous direct searches by more than six orders of magnitude and are, in some cases, more stringent than limits obtained in tests of the equivalence principle by up to four orders of magnitude. Our work demonstrates that scalar field dark matter can be investigated or constrained with direct searches using gravitational-wave detectors and highlights the potential of quantum-enhanced interferometry for dark matter detection.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher: Nature Research
ISSN: 0028-0836
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 December 2021
Date of Acceptance: 16 September 2021
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 10:23

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