February 6, 2018 - 4:15 pm to 5:15 pm (already occurred)
Merrill Science Center, Lecture Room 3

New technologies building on tools developed in atomic and optical physics are opening the "precision" frontier of particle physics. These precision experiments can enable new searches for physics related to dark matter, dark energy, or the microscopic nature of gravity, potentially providing our first laboratory evidence for these beyond the Standard Model processes.

I will describe the development of optomechanical force sensors capable of detecting sub-attonewton forces acting on optically trapped, micron-sized test masses. Such sensors can allow the detection of new forces that appear at shorter distance, or weaker coupling, than could be identified with previous techniques. I will present results to-date from using these sensors to search for for dark matter particles with tiny electric charges as well as new forces that appear in certain models attempting to account for dark energy. Future development of these techniques can enable a new generation of sensitive searches for "fifth" forces that could arise from physics beyond the Standard Model.

Contact Info

Alice Simmoneau
(413) 542-2251
image of e-mail address@amherst.edu