Associate Professor, Northwestern University; Physics and Sensing Team Member, SQMS
Areas of Expertise: AMO Physics, Quantum Sensing, Cryogenics
Thrust: Science, Technology
Andrew Geraci’s research interests include tabletop tests for physics beyond the Standard Model, dark matter, experimental gravitation, ultrasensitive force detection and quantum optomechanics. Using laser-cooled optically-trapped dielectric nanospheres, he and his team have demonstrated calibrated force sensing at the zeptonewton (10−21 N) scale. They aim to apply this excellent force sensitivity to search for deviations of the Newtonian gravitational inverse square law at the micrometer range in a regime where several theories predict possible new signatures. In addition, they are developing the Levitated Sensor Detector (LSD) experiment, which harnesses this sensitivity to search for high-frequency gravitational waves. Andrew also leads the The Axion Resonant InterAction Detection Experiment (ARIADNE) collaboration, which will use nuclear magnetic resonance to search for the QCD axion, a notable dark matter candidate.
Many axion experiments, particularly those relying on spin-based sensors, require exquisite magnetic field sensitivity and thus require excellent shielding of background magnetic noise. At SQMS, researchers are partnering with scientists at Fermilab to develop low-background-flux-noise, low-penetration-depth superconducting thin films. Developing and understanding low-flux-noise thin film Nb magnetic shielding with an excellent shielding factor is important for reaching the quantum limited-sensitivity of these types of experiments. Improvements in high-quality thin-film Nb and Nb-alloy superconductors may also be beneficial for applications in quantum information science.