A quantum enhanced search for dark matter axions
2021; 590 (7845): 238-242
The manipulation of quantum states of light1 holds the potential to enhance searches for fundamental physics. Only recently has the maturation of quantum squeezing technology coincided with the emergence of fundamental physics searches that are limited by quantum uncertainty2,3. In particular, the quantum chromodynamics axion provides a possible solution to two of the greatest outstanding problems in fundamental physics: the strong-CP (charge-parity) problem of quantum chromodynamics4 and the unknown nature of dark matter5-7. In dark matter axion searches, quantum uncertainty manifests as a fundamental noise source, limiting the measurement of the quadrature observables used for detection. Few dark matter searches have approached this limit3,8, and until now none has exceeded it. Here we use vacuum squeezing to circumvent the quantum limit in a search for dark matter. By preparing a microwave-frequency electromagnetic field in a squeezed state and near-noiselessly reading out only the squeezed quadrature9, we double the search rate for axions over a mass range favoured by some recent theoretical projections10,11. We find no evidence of dark matter within the axion rest energy windows of 16.96-17.12 and 17.14-17.28 microelectronvolts. Breaking through the quantum limit invites an era of fundamental physics searches in which noise reduction techniques yield unbounded benefit compared with the diminishing returns of approaching the quantum limit.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41586-021-03226-7
View details for Web of Science ID 000617282500002
View details for PubMedID 33568823
- Resonant conversion of dark matter oscillons in pulsar magnetospheres JOURNAL OF COSMOLOGY AND ASTROPARTICLE PHYSICS 2020