Search for domain wall dark matter with atomic clocks on board global positioning system satellites

Benjamin M. Roberts, Geoffrey Blewitt, Conner Dailey, Mac Murphy, Maxim Pospelov, Alex Rollings, Jeff Sherman, Wyatt Williams, Andrei Derevianko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cosmological observations indicate that dark matter makes up 85% of all matter in the universe yet its microscopic composition remains a mystery. Dark matter could arise from ultralight quantum fields that form macroscopic objects. Here we use the global positioning system as a ~ 50,000 km aperture dark matter detector to search for such objects in the form of domain walls. Global positioning system navigation relies on precision timing signals furnished by atomic clocks. As the Earth moves through the galactic dark matter halo, interactions with domain walls could cause a sequence of atomic clock perturbations that propagate through the satellite constellation at galactic velocities ~ 300 km s-1. Mining 16 years of archival data, we find no evidence for domain walls at our current sensitivity level. This improves the limits on certain quadratic scalar couplings of domain wall dark matter to standard model particles by several orders of magnitude.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1195
JournalNature communications
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Search for domain wall dark matter with atomic clocks on board global positioning system satellites'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Roberts, B. M., Blewitt, G., Dailey, C., Murphy, M., Pospelov, M., Rollings, A., Sherman, J., Williams, W., & Derevianko, A. (2017). Search for domain wall dark matter with atomic clocks on board global positioning system satellites. Nature communications, 8(1), [1195]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-01440-4