Quantum sensor networks as exotic field telescopes for multi-messenger astronomy

  • Date: Mar 6, 2020
  • Time: 02:30 PM c.t. (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Conner Dailey
  • University of Nevada at Reno
  • Location: Haber-Villa
  • Room: Seminar Room
  • Host: Molecular Physics
  • Contact: jperezri@fhi-berlin.mpg.de
Quantum sensor networks as exotic field telescopes for multi-messenger astronomy
Multi-messenger astronomy, the coordinated observation of different classes of signals originating from the same astrophysical event, provides a wealth of information about astrophysical processes with far-reaching implications.

So far, the focus of multi-messenger astronomy has been the search for conventional signals from known fundamental forces and standard model particles, like gravitational waves (GW). In addition to these known effects, quantum sensor networks could be used to search for astrophysical signals predicted by beyond-standard-model (BSM) theories. Exotic bosonic fields are ubiquitous features of BSM theories and appear while seeking to understand the nature of dark matter and dark energy and solve the hierarchy and strong CP problems. We consider the case where high-energy astrophysical events could produce intense bursts of exotic low-mass fields (ELFs). We propose to expand the toolbox of multi-messenger astronomy to include networks of precision quantum sensors that by design are shielded from or insensitive to conventional standard-model physics signals. We estimate ELF signal amplitudes, delays, rates, and distances of GW sources to which global networks of atomic magnetometers and atomic clocks could be sensitive. We find that, indeed, such precision quantum sensor networks can function as ELF telescopes to detect signals from sources generating ELF bursts of sufficient intensity. Thus ELFs, if they exist, could act as additional messengers for astrophysical events.

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