CPC Seminar: Direct Detection of Dark Matter using Quantum Sensors and Techniques

  • Feb. 26, 2024, 2:00 pm US/Central
  • Curia II
  • Karthik Ramanathan, California Institute of Technology
  • Host: Dylan Temples, dtemples@fnal.gov

Abstract: Determining the nature of dark matter (DM), a mysterious ‘missing mass’ in the universe, is crucial to completing our models of cosmology and high-energy physics. Two recent areas of experimental interest, among the many decades of potential DM masses, are particle-like ‘light DM’ with masses less than a GeV and wave-like candidates of O(10) ueV. In this talk, I will discuss R&D work and experiments that seek to probe along both avenues. Notably, experiments targeting these regimes can benefit from overlapping advances in superconducting tools and techniques that exploit quantum phenomena. In the case of wave-like DM I will present leading constraints from a broadband search for Hidden Photon DM, which uses a Kinetic Inductance Parametric Amplifier to achieve ‘quantum limited’ noise performance. For light DM, I will touch on the challenges in measuring their meV-to-eV scale energy deposits within a crystalline target and present designs & roadmaps for phonon-mediated sensors with the potential to do so. These include demonstrated Kinetic Inductance Detectors and R&D work in realizing Quantum Parity Detectors (QPDs). QPDs are effectively ‘qubits’ from the quantum computing world and, ambitiously, should allow for the literal counting of quasiparticles within a superconducting absorber as produced by single meV phonons.