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  1. Abstract

    We present a concept for a high-precision optical atomic clock (OAC) operating on an Earth-orbiting space station. This pathfinder science mission will compare the space-based OAC with one or more ultra-stable terrestrial OACs to search for space-time-dependent signatures of dark scalar fields that manifest as anomalies in the relative frequencies of station-based and ground-based clocks. This opens the possibility of probing models of new physics that are inaccessible to purely ground-based OAC experiments where a dark scalar field may potentially be strongly screened near Earth’s surface. This unique enhancement of sensitivity to potential dark matter candidates harnesses the potential of space-based OACs.

  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  4. We demonstrate the operation of a rotation sensor based on the nitrogen-14 ( 14 N) nuclear spins intrinsic to nitrogen-vacancy (NV) color centers in diamond. The sensor uses optical polarization and readout of the nuclei and a radio-frequency double-quantum pulse protocol that monitors 14 N nuclear spin precession. This measurement protocol suppresses the sensitivity to temperature variations in the 14 N quadrupole splitting, and it does not require microwave pulses resonant with the NV electron spin transitions. The device was tested on a rotation platform and demonstrated a sensitivity of 4.7°/ s (13 mHz/ Hz ), with a bias stability of 0.4 °/s (1.1 mHz).
  5. ABSTRACT The largest uncertainty on measurements of dark energy using type Ia supernovae (SNeIa) is presently due to systematics from photometry; specifically to the relative uncertainty on photometry as a function of wavelength in the optical spectrum. We show that a precise constraint on relative photometry between the visible and near-infrared can be achieved at upcoming survey telescopes, such as at the Vera C. Rubin Observatory, via a laser source tuned to the 342.78 nm vacuum excitation wavelength of neutral sodium atoms. Using a high-power laser, this excitation will produce an artificial star, which we term a ‘laser photometric ratio star’ (LPRS) of de-excitation light in the mesosphere at wavelengths in vacuum of 589.16, 589.76, 818.55, and 819.70 nm, with the sum of the numbers of 589.16 and 589.76 nm photons produced by this process equal to the sum of the numbers of 818.55 and 819.70 nm photons, establishing a precise calibration ratio between, for example, the r and $z$ filters of the LSST camera at the Rubin Observatory. This technique can thus provide a novel mechanism for establishing a spectrophotometric calibration ratio of unprecedented precision for upcoming telescopic observations across astronomy and atmospheric physics; thus greatly improving the performance of upcoming measurements of darkmore »energy parameters using type SNeIa. The second paper of this pair describes an alternative technique to achieve a similar, but brighter, LPRS than the technique described in this paper, by using two lasers near resonances at 589.16 and 819.71 nm, rather than the single 342.78 nm on-resonance laser technique described in this paper.« less
  6. ABSTRACT This paper is the second in a pair of papers on the topic of the generation of a two-colour artificial star [which we term a laser photometric ratio star (LPRS)] of de-excitation light from neutral sodium atoms in the mesosphere, for use in precision telescopic measurements in astronomy and atmospheric physics, and more specifically for the calibration of measurements of dark energy using type Ia supernovae. The two techniques, respectively, described in both this and the previous paper would each generate an LPRS with a precisely 1:1 ratio of yellow (589/590 nm) photons to near-infrared (819/820 nm) photons produced in the mesosphere. Both techniques would provide novel mechanisms for establishing a spectrophotometric calibration ratio of unprecedented precision, from above most of Earth’s atmosphere, for upcoming telescopic observations across astronomy and atmospheric physics; thus greatly improving the performance of upcoming measurements of dark energy parameters using type Ia supernovae. The technique described in this paper has the advantage of producing a much brighter (specifically, brighter by approximately a factor of 103) LPRS, using lower power (≤30 W average power) lasers, than the technique using a single 500 W average power laser described in the first paper of this pair. However, the technique described here would requiremore »polarization filters to be installed into the telescope camera in order to sufficiently remove laser atmospheric Rayleigh backscatter from telescope images, whereas the technique described in the first paper would only require more typical wavelength filters in order to sufficiently remove laser Rayleigh backscatter.« less
  7. Abstract Numerous theories extending beyond the standard model of particle physics predict the existence of bosons that could constitute dark matter. In the standard halo model of galactic dark matter, the velocity distribution of the bosonic dark matter field defines a characteristic coherence time τ c . Until recently, laboratory experiments searching for bosonic dark matter fields have been in the regime where the measurement time T significantly exceeds τ c , so null results have been interpreted by assuming a bosonic field amplitude Φ 0 fixed by the average local dark matter density. Here we show that experiments operating in the T  ≪  τ c regime do not sample the full distribution of bosonic dark matter field amplitudes and therefore it is incorrect to assume a fixed value of Φ 0 when inferring constraints. Instead, in order to interpret laboratory measurements (even in the event of a discovery), it is necessary to account for the stochastic nature of such a virialized ultralight field. The constraints inferred from several previous null experiments searching for ultralight bosonic dark matter were overestimated by factors ranging from 3 to 10 depending on experimental details, model assumptions, and choice of inference framework.