Quantum Sensors for Direct Detection of Sub-GeV Dark Matter
Over the last 20 years, searches for dark matter above the proton mass have advanced significantly across direct and indirect searches, but sub-GeV dark matter has until recently been comparatively unprobed. In this talk, I will discuss the state of the Sub-GeV direct detection field, and prospects for applying quantum measurement techniques to lowering mass thresholds for new searches with event thresholds at the eV-scale. I will then discuss the outlook for the field in the next 5-10 years, in the context of synergy with ongoing research in materials science and quantum information science. The goal over the next decade is to run background-free dark matter searches at gram-year exposures with meV-scale thresholds, an exciting challenge that requires a broad range of expertise, and comes with enormous scientific discovery potential.
Noah Kurinsky is a Staff Scientist at SLAC, where he works on detector R&D for dark matter searches and on superconducting devices for fault-tolerant quantum computing. Before joining SLAC, he was a Lederman Fellow at Fermilab, where he helped establish the NEXUS underground cryogenic test facility. He obtained his PhD in Physics in 2018 from Stanford University working on the SuperCDMS experiment, and a dual degree in Astrophysics and Engineering Physics from Tufts University in 2014, working as part of both the Planck and ATLAS collaborations and studying galaxy evolution using data from infrared surveys. His scientific interests span condensed matter physics and particle astrophysics. In particular, his work focuses broadly on understanding the coupling of excitations in cryogenic crystals to superconducting sensors, with applications to phonon and photon sensing, as well as understanding quasiparticle decay in superconductors. He is currently the R&D coordinator for the SuperCDMS experiment, and is starting a new lab at SLAC focused on quantum sensing for cosmic frontier science.