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Building a dark matter wind chime

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Galactic and cosmological observations strong suggest the existence of a substantial amount of non-luminous matter. This dark matter could take many forms; the only strong constraints know at present are its approximate density (about one hydrogen atom mass per cubic centimeter in our galaxy) and that it gravitates. Here we consider the observable consequences of particulate dark matter with no standard model coupling, i.e., particles that only gravitate. We find that modern optomechanical detectors, now entering the ultra-coherent quantum regime in a variety of experiments worldwide, may be able to directly observe the effects of individual dark matter parts as they stream past the Earth. However, to achieve this in the laboratory setting requires making substantial strides in the measurement of massive objects, going well beyond the so-called ‘standard quantum limit’. I discuss how leveraging tools from quantum information science, such as quantum non-demolition measurement and squeezinng, can achieve unprecendented sensitivity of massive objects to small impulses. I will discuss the scientific and technological path necessary to yield direct gravitational observation of dark matter in the range of the Planck mass to gram-scale particles.

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