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Direct Detection of Dark Energy

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Most of the efforts in searching for dark energy (DE) have focused on its gravitational signatures, and in particular on constraining its equation of state. However, non-gravitational interactions between DE and visible matter are somewhat inevitable, and might lead to the possibility of “direct detection of dark energy” (analogous to direct detection of dark matter). Such interactions need to be appropriately screened on local scales. We will discuss our recent work where we argued that it is possible to detect (screened) DE in underground experiments nominally devoted to the direct detection of dark matter. Our results raise the tantalizing possibility that the 3.3σ electron recoil excess seen by the XENON1T experiment in 2020 may be the first direct detection of DE, and open new unforeseen vistas for the scientific scope of direct detection dark matter experiments.

This talk is part of the New Frontiers in Astrophysics: A KICC Perspective series.

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