AEDGE: Atomic Experiment for Dark Matter and Gravity Exploration in Space

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We propose in this White Paper a concept for a space experiment using cold atoms to search for ultra-light dark matter, and to detect gravitational waves in the frequency range between the most sensitive ranges of LISA and the terrestrial LIGO/Virgo/KAGRA/INDIGO experiments. This interdisciplinary experiment, called Atomic Experiment for Dark Matter and Gravity Exploration (AEDGE), will also complement other planned searches for dark matter, and exploit synergies with other gravitational wave detectors. We give examples of the extended range of sensitivity to ultra-light dark matter offered by AEDGE, and how its gravitational-wave measurements could explore the assembly of super-massive black holes, first-order phase transitions in the early universe and cosmic strings. AEDGE will be based upon technologies now being developed for terrestrial experiments using cold atoms, and will benefit from the space experience obtained with, e.g., LISA and cold atom experiments in microgravity.

Bibliographic note

Funding Information: Building upon the MAGIA experiment [ 94 , 95 ], MAGIA-Advanced is an R&D project funded by the Italian Ministry for Research and the INFN for a large-scale atom interferometer based on ultracold rubidium and strontium atoms. In addition to laboratory activity, the team is investigating the possibility of a 100–300 m atom interferometer to be installed in a vertical shaft in Sardinia. Its main goals are GW observation and the search for DM. Publisher Copyright: © 2020, The Author(s). Copyright: Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


Original languageEnglish
Article number6
Number of pages27
JournalEPJ Quantum Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2020