Searching for Dark Matter and Dark Energy with Mechanical Systems
Abstract: When properly engineered, simple quantum systems such as harmonic oscillators or spins can be excellent detectors of feeble forces and fields. Following a general introduction to this fast-growing area of research, I will focus on using optomechanical systems as sensors of weak acceleration and strain fields. Ultralight dark matter coupling to standard model fields and particles would produce a coherent strain or acceleration signal in an elastic solid. I will discuss the feasibility of searching for this signal using various optomechanical systems. I will also show that current mechanical systems have the sensitivity to set new constraints on scalar field candidates for dark energy. Finally, I will briefly overview the promise of quantum noise limited detectors in the search for beyond the standard model physics.
Bio: Swati Singh is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Material Science and Engineering, and Physics at the University of Delaware. Her theoretical work spans a wide range of quantum systems: atomic gases, optomechanical oscillators, solid-state qubits, and superfluid helium. Her recent work involves investigating novel applications for quantum sensors, such as detecting gravitational waves, dark matter, and dark energy. She is the recipient of the NSF CAREER award and ITAMP Postdoctoral fellowship. Previously, she was a postdoc at Harvard University, a Ph.D. student at the University of Arizona, a Master's student at the University of British Columbia, and an undergraduate at McMaster University.
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