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Experimental Searches for Oscillating and Transient effects from the Dark Sector

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "Dark-OsT" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: SAARSTRASSE 21
city: MAINZ
postcode: 55122

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Total cost 2˙474˙875 €
 EC max contribution 2˙474˙875 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-AdG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-08-01   to  2021-07-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

The objective of the proposed project is to pioneer a magnetometry-based experimental framework for the detection of time-varying signatures of the ‘dark sector’. This novel approach will enable systematic searches for particles contributing to the dark matter and for dark-energy components.

The nature of dark matter and that of dark energy are among the central open problems in modern physics. There are only few experimental bounds and so far no conclusive observations of dark-sector particles or fields. Experiments enabling a direct coupling to the dark sector and thus a systematic search for and study of the contributing particles and fields would open up new vistas for areas ranging from particle physics to astrophysics and cosmology, and would in particular provide insights into the physics beyond the Standard Model.

Here, we propose a framework for such experimental searches based on high-precision magnetometers, and networks thereof. Our approach is distinct from existing efforts in two ways. First, it will enable searches for so-far unexplored couplings to ultra-light bosonic particles present in the Universe that could be components of dark matter and/or dark energy, in particular axions and axion-like particles (ALPs). Second, we will develop and use devices and methods tailored to search for oscillating and transient, rather than time-independent, effects. Specifically, we will use nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques for detecting spin precession caused by background axion and ALP dark matter, and geographically separated magnetometers for identify transient effects, such as crossing domain walls of ALP fields, which have been proposed as a possible dark-energy component.

The devices and methods developed in the framework of this project will provide the essential components for unique searches for a broad class of dark-matter and dark-energy candidates and might enable the key experiments to understanding the dark sector.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 D. F. Jackson Kimball, D. Budker, J. Eby, M. Pospelov, S. Pustelny, T. Scholtes, Y. V. Stadnik, A. Weis, A. Wickenbrock
Searching for axion stars and Q -balls with a terrestrial magnetometer network
published pages: , ISSN: 2470-0010, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.97.043002
Physical Review D 97/4 2020-01-24
2018 Julian C. Berengut, Dmitry Budker, Cédric Delaunay, Victor V. Flambaum, Claudia Frugiuele, Elina Fuchs, Christophe Grojean, Roni Harnik, Roee Ozeri, Gilad Perez, Yotam Soreq
Probing New Long-Range Interactions by Isotope Shift Spectroscopy
published pages: , ISSN: 0031-9007, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.091801
Physical Review Letters 120/9 2020-01-24
2018 Tao Wang, Derek F. Jackson Kimball, Alexander O. Sushkov, Deniz Aybas, John W. Blanchard, Gary Centers, Sean R. O’ Kelley, Arne Wickenbrock, Jiancheng Fang, Dmitry Budker
Application of spin-exchange relaxation-free magnetometry to the Cosmic Axion Spin Precession Experiment
published pages: 27-35, ISSN: 2212-6864, DOI: 10.1016/j.dark.2017.11.003
Physics of the Dark Universe 19 2020-01-24
2017 Filip Ficek, Derek F. Jackson Kimball, Mikhail G. Kozlov, Nathan Leefer, Szymon Pustelny, Dmitry Budker
Constraints on exotic spin-dependent interactions between electrons from helium fine-structure spectroscopy
published pages: , ISSN: 2469-9926, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.95.032505
Physical Review A 95/3 2020-01-24
2016 N. Leefer, A. Gerhardus, D. Budker, V. V. Flambaum, Y. V. Stadnik
Search for the Effect of Massive Bodies on Atomic Spectra and Constraints on Yukawa-Type Interactions of Scalar Particles
published pages: , ISSN: 0031-9007, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.271601
Physical Review Letters 117/27 2020-01-24
2017 J. Eills, J. W. Blanchard, L. Bougas, M. G. Kozlov, A. Pines, D. Budker
Measuring molecular parity nonconservation using nuclear-magnetic-resonance spectroscopy
published pages: , ISSN: 2469-9926, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.96.042119
Physical Review A 96/4 2020-01-24

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