Gravitational Direct Detection of Dark Matter

TitleGravitational Direct Detection of Dark Matter
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsCarney, D, Ghosh, S, Krnjaic, G, Taylor, JM
JournalPhys. Rev. D
Date Published10/13/2020
Type of ArticleFERMILAB-PUB-19-082-AE-T

The only coupling dark matter is guaranteed to have with the standard model is through gravity. Here we propose a concept for direct dark matter detection using only this gravitational coupling, enabling a new regime of detection. Leveraging dramatic advances in the ability to create, maintain, and probe quantum states of massive objects, we suggest that an array of quantum-limited impulse sensors may be capable of detecting the correlated gravitational force created by a passing dark matter particle. We present two concrete realizations of this scheme, using either mechanical resonators or freely-falling masses. With currently available technology, a meter-scale apparatus of this type could detect any dark matter candidate around the Planck mass or heavier.