Scientists proposed a novel idea of using qubits to search for dark matter

Enhancing the search for the nature of dark matter, neutrinos, new forces, and more.

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Electrons and ions trapped with electromagnetic fields have long served as necessary high-precision metrological instruments. Recently, they have been proposed as a platform for quantum information processing. They are being used as qubits for quantum computation.

Recently, Wright Lab assistant professor David Moore proposed a novel idea of using trapped electrons and ions as ultra-sensitive particle detectors to enhance the search for the nature of dark matter, neutrinos, new forces, and more.

In a new study, scientists identified that the intense sensitivity of these systems could be used to detect highly weakly interacting particles, such as dark matter. Unlike traditionally charged particle detectors, the technique could potentially detect much smaller energy depositions.

In particular, these systems can detect energy depositions many orders of magnitude below typical ionization scales. Other applications to fundamental physics studied in the study include possible measurements of charged particles emitted by beta decay. The Project 8 collaboration is also developing new techniques to measure to understand the nature of the mysterious neutrino better.

Natural radiation emits charged particles that scramble qubits in large arrays. Scientists in this study also studied how techniques from low background physics might provide a solution to this problem and eventually be used in ion-based quantum computers.

Journal Reference:

  1. Daniel Carney, Hartmut Häffner et al. Trapped Electrons and Ions as Particle Detectors. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.127.061804