Dark matter interferometry

Joshua W. Foster, Yonatan Kahn, Rachel Nguyen, Nicholas L. Rodd, Benjamin R. Safdi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The next generation of ultralight dark matter (DM) direct detection experiments, which could confirm sub-eV bosons as the dominant source of DM, will feature multiple detectors operating at various terrestrial locations. As a result of the wavelike nature of ultralight DM, spatially separated detectors will each measure a unique DM phase. When the separation between experiments is comparable to the DM coherence length, the spatially varying phase contains information beyond that which is accessible at a single detector. We introduce a formalism to extract this information, which performs interferometry directly on the DM wave. In particular, we develop a likelihood-based framework that combines data from multiple experiments to constrain directional information about the DM phase space distribution. We show that the signal in multiple detectors is subject to a daily modulation effect unique to wavelike DM. Leveraging daily modulation, we illustrate that within days of an initial discovery multiple detectors acting in unison could localize directional parameters of the DM velocity distribution such as the direction of the solar velocity to subdegree accuracy, or the direction of a putative cold DM stream to the subarcminute level. We outline how to optimize the locations of multiple detectors with either resonant cavity (such as ADMX or HAYSTAC) or quasistatic (such as ABRACADABRA or DM-Radio) readouts to have maximal sensitivity to the full three-dimensional DM velocity distribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number076018
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 26 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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