Nearly a century after dark matter was first proposed to explain the motion of galaxy clusters, physicists still have no idea what it's made of.
Researchers around the world have built dozens of detectors in hopes of discovering dark matter. As a graduate student, I helped design and operate one of these detectors, aptly named HAYSTAC (Haloscope At Yale Sensitive To Axion CDM). But despite decades of experimental effort, scientists have yet to identify the dark matter particle.
Now, the search for dark matter has received an unlikely assist from technology used in quantum computing research. In a new paper published in the journal Nature, my colleagues on the HAYSTAC team and I describe how we used a bit of quantum trickery to double the rate at which our detector can search for dark matter. Our result adds a much-needed speed boost to the hunt for this mysterious particle.