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Scattering of light dark matter in atomic clocks

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Peter Wolf, Rodrigo Alonso, Diego Blas

Original languageEnglish
Article number095019
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number9
Published17 May 2019

King's Authors


We present a detailed analysis of the effect of light dark matter (DM) on atomic clocks, for the case where DM mass and density are such that occupation numbers are low and DM must be considered as particles scattering off the atoms, rather than a classical field. We show that the resulting atomic clock frequency shifts are first order in the scattering amplitudes and particularly suited to constrain DM models in the regime where the DM mass mχ GeV. We provide some rough order of magnitude estimates of sensitivity that can be confronted to any DM model that allows for nonzero differential scattering amplitudes of the two atomic states involved in the clock.

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