AION: an atom interferometer observatory and network

Christopher McCabe, John Ellis, Diego Blas, Ville Vaskonen, Marek Lewicki, Leonardo Badurina, E Bentine, K Bongs, D Bortoletto, T Bowcock, K Bridges, W Bowden, O Buchmueller, C Burrage, J Coleman, G Elertas, C Foot, V Gibson, M. G Haehnelt, T HarteS Hedges, R Hobson, M Holynski, T Jones, M Langlois, S Lellouch, R Maiolino, P Majewski, S Malik, J March-Russell, D Newbold, B Sauer, U Schneider, I Shipsey, Y Singh, M. A Uchida, T Valenzuela, M van der Grinten, J Vossebeld, D Weatherill, I Wilmut

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


We outline the experimental concept and key scientific capabilities of AION (Atom Interferometer Observatory and Network), a proposed experimental programme using cold strontium atoms to search for ultra-light dark matter, to explore gravitational waves in the mid-frequency range between the peak sensitivities of the LISA and LIGO/Virgo/ KAGRA/INDIGO/Einstein Telescope/Cosmic Explorer experiments, and to probe other frontiers in fundamental physics. AION would complement other planned searches for dark matter, as well as probe mergers involving intermediate-mass black holes and explore early-universe cosmology. AION would share many technical features with the MAGIS experimental programme, and synergies would flow from operating AION in a network with this experiment, as well as with other atom interferometer experiments such as MIGA, ZAIGA and ELGAR. Operating AION in a network with other gravitational wave detectors such as LIGO, Virgo and LISA would also offer many synergies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2020


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