As the gravitational evidence accumulates inexorably that dark matter comprises the vast majority of the mass of the universe, the particle nature of dark matter remains a mystery. New laboratory experiments are being commissioned to probe dark matter lighter than the proton mass, but the signatures in these detectors rely crucially on the condensed matter properties of the detector material. I will survey the progress made in understanding existing detectors and designing future ones which operate in this unusual low-energy regime, driven by an incredibly fruitful and rich collaboration between particle physicists, condensed matter physicists, materials scientists, and quantum chemists, on both sides of the theory/experiment divide. I will describe a new approach which helps to identify novel materials with optimal properties for dark matter detection, bridging high- and low-energy physics and ensuring that no stone is left unturned in the hunt for dark matter in the laboratory.
Dark Matter Meets Condensed Matter
Host: Miriam Diamond