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On the existence of low-mass dark matter and its direct detection

On the existence of low-mass dark matter and its direct detection
On the existence of low-mass dark matter and its direct detection
Dark Matter (DM) is an elusive form of matter which has been postulated to explain astronomical observations through its gravitational effects on stars and galaxies, gravitational lensing of light around these, and through its imprint on the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). This indirect evidence implies that DM accounts for as much as 84.5% of all matter in our Universe, yet it has so far evaded all attempts at direct detection, leaving such confirmation and the consequent discovery of its nature as one of the biggest challenges in modern physics. Here we present a novel form of low-mass DM χ that would have been missed by all experiments so far. While its large interaction strength might at first seem unlikely, neither constraints from particle physics nor cosmological/astronomical observations are sufficient to rule out this type of DM, and it motivates our proposal for direct detection by optomechanics technology which should soon be within reach, namely, through the precise position measurement of a levitated mesoscopic particle which will be perturbed by elastic collisions with χ particles. We show that a recently proposed nanoparticle matter-wave interferometer, originally conceived for tests of the quantum superposition principle, is sensitive to these collisions, too.
2045-2322
Bateman, James
38a2b8df-a0f4-4461-b7af-11ba991bdc9d
Mchardy, Ian
4f215137-9cc4-4a08-982e-772a0b24c17e
Merle, Alexander
0b274927-3f75-489e-9bed-9a216955ba76
Morris, Tim R.
a9927d31-7a12-4188-bc35-1c9d3a03a6a6
Ulbricht, Hendrik
5060dd43-2dc1-47f8-9339-c1a26719527d
Bateman, James
38a2b8df-a0f4-4461-b7af-11ba991bdc9d
Mchardy, Ian
4f215137-9cc4-4a08-982e-772a0b24c17e
Merle, Alexander
0b274927-3f75-489e-9bed-9a216955ba76
Morris, Tim R.
a9927d31-7a12-4188-bc35-1c9d3a03a6a6
Ulbricht, Hendrik
5060dd43-2dc1-47f8-9339-c1a26719527d

Bateman, James, Mchardy, Ian, Merle, Alexander, Morris, Tim R. and Ulbricht, Hendrik (2015) On the existence of low-mass dark matter and its direct detection. Scientific Reports, 5. (doi:10.1038/srep08058).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Dark Matter (DM) is an elusive form of matter which has been postulated to explain astronomical observations through its gravitational effects on stars and galaxies, gravitational lensing of light around these, and through its imprint on the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). This indirect evidence implies that DM accounts for as much as 84.5% of all matter in our Universe, yet it has so far evaded all attempts at direct detection, leaving such confirmation and the consequent discovery of its nature as one of the biggest challenges in modern physics. Here we present a novel form of low-mass DM χ that would have been missed by all experiments so far. While its large interaction strength might at first seem unlikely, neither constraints from particle physics nor cosmological/astronomical observations are sufficient to rule out this type of DM, and it motivates our proposal for direct detection by optomechanics technology which should soon be within reach, namely, through the precise position measurement of a levitated mesoscopic particle which will be perturbed by elastic collisions with χ particles. We show that a recently proposed nanoparticle matter-wave interferometer, originally conceived for tests of the quantum superposition principle, is sensitive to these collisions, too.

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On the Existence of Low-Mass Dark - Accepted Manuscript
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
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Accepted/In Press date: 17 December 2014
e-pub ahead of print date: 27 January 2015
Organisations: Astronomy Group, Physics & Astronomy, Theory Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 411758
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/411758
ISSN: 2045-2322
PURE UUID: 5d7f0fc8-ab43-4316-a284-da44d4f63f47
ORCID for Tim R. Morris: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-6256-9962

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Date deposited: 23 Jun 2017 16:31
Last modified: 14 Mar 2019 01:55

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Contributors

Author: James Bateman
Author: Ian Mchardy
Author: Alexander Merle
Author: Tim R. Morris ORCID iD

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