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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Detecting ultralight bosonic dark matter via absorption in superconductors

  • Author(s): Hochberg, Yonit
  • Lin, Tongyan
  • Zurek, Kathryn M
  • et al.

© 2016 American Physical Society. Superconducting targets have recently been proposed for the direct detection of dark matter as light as a keV, via elastic scattering off conduction electrons in Cooper pairs. Detecting such light dark matter requires sensitivity to energies as small as the superconducting gap of O(meV). Here we show that these same superconducting devices can detect much lighter DM, of meV to eV mass, via dark matter absorption on a conduction electron, followed by emission of an athermal phonon. We demonstrate the power of this setup for relic kinetically mixed hidden photons, pseudoscalars, and scalars, showing that the reach can exceed current astrophysical and terrestrial constraints with only a moderate exposure.

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