Bateman et al. dark matter model in the news

As previously reported, Bateman, McHardy, Merle, Morris, and Ulbricht ran with the idea of detecting dark matter with large quantum superpositions and have proposed an explicit dark matter model that could be tested by the proposed MAQRO satellite . That paper is now in print , and it has gotten a bit of press!

Top: What space looks like right now. Pretty boring. Bottom left: The innards of the LPF science spacecraft, on which the MAQRO experiment would be built. Bottom right: MAQRO in space. Cf. top image. Notice the change in awesomeness.

All aboard the hype train! If this satellite gets built, it WILL discover dark matter, and probably extra dimensions, a solution to the is-ought problem, and the secret to true happiness.

EDIT 2015-2-16: Here is a copy of the proposal recently submitted by the MAQRO consortium, led by Rainer Kaltenbaek, for the M4 satellite mission slot with the European Space Agency.

EDIT 2015-3-10: I was bummed to find out that MAQRO did not make the short list for the M4 slot. The updated version of the proposal is now available on the arXiv. Hats off to Rainer for the excellent submission. Here’s looking to M5, just 36 months down the road!


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  1. Hume would be proud :)

    Kidding aside, what is your degree of belief in a scalar dark matter particle with a Compton wavelength of about 10 nanometers?

    • Ha, that is exactly the sort of question I wouldn’t want to answer on the record. I’ll say 0.02%. But that’s the sort of number that could move by orders of magnitude if I heard a convincing back of the envelope argument.

      However, I’m unusually bullish about large quantum superpositions detecting new physics because I think they are new devices that are super sensitive to a wide range of possible perturbing effects. If MAQRO flies with the current specs, I assign 0.5% for new physics (a 1 in 200 chance, which is enormous) and 10% for a novel, unpredicted physical phenomenon that is compatible with current physics.

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