Asteroidal, Planetary, and Lunar TrackingArray and Space Quantum Technologies for Fundamental Physics

Yu-Dai Tsai
UCI Department of Physics & Astronomy
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
11:00 am
NS2 1201
We study for the first time the possibility of probing long-range fifth forces utilizing asteroid astrometric data, via the fifth force-induced orbital precession. We examine nine Near-Earth Object (NEO) asteroids whose orbital trajectories are accurately determined via optical and radar astrometry. Focusing on a Yukawa-type potential mediated by a new gauge field (dark photon) or a baryon-coupled scalar, we estimate the sensitivity reach for the fifth-force coupling strength and mediator mass in the mass range m ~ 10^{-21} - 10^{-15} eV. Our estimated sensitivity is comparable to leading limits from torsion balance experiments, potentially exceeding these in a specific mass range. The fifth forced-induced precession increases with the orbital semi-major axis in the small m limit, motivating the study of objects further away from the Sun. We discuss future exciting prospects for extending our study to more than a million asteroids (including NEOs, main-belt asteroids, Hildas, and Jupiter Trojans), as well as trans-Neptunian objects and exoplanets.
Our work can also be applied to the studies of dark matter and, potentially, gravitational waves.
The new development of NASA/NIST proposals of Quantum technologies in Space could bring improvements to our studies, which I will discuss briefly near the end of the talk.
This talk is mainly based on
Yuri Shirman