Dark matter is the name that we give to the 85% of matter in the universe that interacts via gravity but negligibly with any of the other known forces. One compelling model for dark matter is the axion, as it simultaneously solves the existence of dark matter and the strong CP problem in QCD. Axions can interact with a strong magnetic field through the Primakoff effect, wherein the axion can spontaneously convert into a photon in the presence of a strong magnetic field.
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Given that a search on Amazon.com for books on ‘quantum theory’ returns over 10,000 hits while searching for ‘quantum physics’ returns over 20,000, one might wonder if the world needs yet another book on the subject. These numbers correspond to one book a day for 30 years, ranging from advanced mathematical treatises to books without a single equation, from deep philosophical debates between authors with different understandings of the subject, to textbooks teaching the methodology and various applications.
Superconducting technologies have been developed and employed with great success by the quantum information science community. More and more, these technologies show promise for fundamental physics. I want to sketch some of their possible advantages in the context of the Ricochet and Project 8 neutrino experiments.
The pursuit of particle physics, or any kind of discovery-driven research, requires a stable and prosperous society. Today, our society is increasingly threatened by global climate change. Human-influenced climate change has already impacted weather patterns, and global warming will only increase unless deep reductions in emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases are achieved.
The Standard Model cannot explain the dominance of matter over anti-matter in our universe, which indicates the existence of undiscovered time-reversal (T) symmetry violation. Proposed particle physics theories predict new particles that violate T-symmetry, which generically induce an electric dipole moment in the electron (eEDM). I will present the most precise measurement of the eEDM to date using electrons confined inside molecular ions, subject to a huge intra-molecular electric field, and evolving coherently for up to three seconds.
In this talk, I will present our recent proposal of searching for axion dark matter with an optomechanical cavity filled with a material such as superfluid helium. Axion absorption converts a pump laser photon to a photon plus a phonon. The axion absorption rate is enhanced by the high occupation number of coherent photons or phonons in the cavity, allowing our proposal to largely overcome the extremely small axion coupling. The axion mass probed is set by the relative frequency of the photon produced in the final state and the Stokes mode.
The ALICE experiment was built to study many-body Quantum Chromo-Dynamics (QCD) at high temperature and effectively zero baryon density, using relativistic heavy-ion collisions at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). These collisions form the Quark Gluon Plasma (QGP), a state of matter where quarks and gluons are no longer confined inside hadrons. The ALICE physics program centers around the key questions related to QGP phenomena.
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. However, repeated null searches for the most favored DM candidates has motivated a community re-evaluation of the theoretical biases towards this parameter space. Two recent areas of 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 both avenues.
One of the biggest questions in fundamental particle physics is whether neutrinos are Dirac fermions, with distinct anti-particles, or Majorana fermions, for which the particles and anti-particles are identical. The best available probe of the neutrino nature is neutrinoless double beta decay (0νββ), a hypothetical process that require massive Majorana neutrinos. This discovery of this lepton number violating process would therefore reveal the neutrino nature and provide a window into physics beyond the Standard Model.