Direct limits for scalar field dark matter from a gravitational-wave detector

authored by
Sander M. Vermeulen, Philip Relton, Hartmut Grote, Vivien Raymond, Christoph Affeldt, Fabio Bergamin, Aparna Bisht, Marc Brinkmann, Karsten Danzmann, Suresh Doravari, Volker Kringel, James Lough, Harald Lück, Moritz Mehmet, Nikhil Mukund, Séverin Nadji, Emil Schreiber, Borja Sorazu, Kenneth A. Strain, Henning Vahlbruch, Michael Weinert, Benno Willke, Holger Wittel
Abstract

The nature of dark matter remains unknown to date; several candidate particles are being considered in a dynamically changing research landscape. Scalar field dark matter is a prominent option that is being explored with precision instruments such as atomic clocks and optical cavities. Here we report on the first direct search for scalar field dark matter utilising a gravitational-wave detector operating beyond the quantum shot-noise limit. We set new upper limits for the coupling constants of scalar field dark matter as a function of its mass by excluding the presence of signals that would be produced through the direct coupling of this dark matter to the beamsplitter of the GEO\,600 interferometer. The new constraints improve upon bounds from previous direct searches by more than six orders of magnitude and are more stringent than limits obtained in tests of the equivalence principle by up to four orders of magnitude. Our work demonstrates that scalar field dark matter can be probed or constrained with direct searches using gravitational-wave detectors and highlights the potential of quantum-enhanced interferometry for dark matter detection.

Organisation(s)
Institute of Gravitation Physics
QuantumFrontiers
External Organisation(s)
Cardiff University
Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute)
University of Glasgow
Type
Article
Journal
NATURE
Volume
600
Pages
424-428
No. of pages
5
ISSN
0028-0836
Publication date
16.12.2021
Publication status
Published
Peer reviewed
Yes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
General
Electronic version(s)
https://arxiv.org/abs/2103.03783v1 (Access: Open)
https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-04031-y (Access: Open)